It has been confirmed that the proposed Casement Park development will cost approximately £110m, not the estimated £77m estimated it would take to rejuvenate the GAA stadium.
As reported by the BBC, Northern Ireland Communities Minister, Deirdre Hargey, told MLAs [Members of the Legislative Assembly] that the budget had increased due to inflation during a six-year delay as well as changes to plans following concerns for public safety.
Lost to a generation – it's time to restore Casement Park
— BBC SPORT NI (@BBCSPORTNI) May 24, 2019
Hargey also claimed she was in discussion with both the GAA and Northern Ireland Finance Minister, Conor Murphy, surrounding the increased costs, however, she did not confirm if her department would bid for an extra £33m to complete the ongoing project as it hadn’t passed through the planning process, as of yet.
In March 2019, during the much-publicised Stormont collapse, the Department for Communities released a statement claiming the rise in costs meant the project could not go ahead, even with planning permission, as there was no sitting minister in Stormont.
Last month, the GAA claimed that planning authorities were “hopeful” that the planning process could be finished by April 2020.
It’s time to build @CasementPark pic.twitter.com/72VlMNR00G
— Antrim GAA (@AontroimGAA) December 19, 2019
Ms Hargey reminded MLAs that there was a commitment in the New Decade, New Approach document which outlined that plans to build a new stadium would proceed while adding that public health would be affected if it was not completed as it was a key part of the NI executive’s sports policy.
However, there has been slight pushback from the DUP with Jonathan Buckley claiming that the increased cost needed to restore Antrim GAA’s home ground was likely to shock MLAs as well as the public. Mr Buckley suggested that the capacity and scale of the project could be reduced, however, the capacity has already been reduced. As well as this, as Casement Park is viewed as a regional stadium, there are limits on further reducing its capacity.
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