ARMAGH’S long search for a new centre of excellence has taken a significant step forward with the Orchard county ready to submit planning permission for a new multi-pitch facility.
The location of the new facility is remaining a tightly-guarded secret, but is expected to contain three full-size pitches, one with spectator seating, gym facilities, dressing rooms and a hurling wall. If all goes to plan, the project could be completed as soon as 2019.
The Armagh County Board are also planning a possible link up with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council that will see them act as possible tenants for a new multi-purpose sports facility that could be built in the Cathedral city. This facility would incorporate a number of local sports as well as the GAA.
In order to help fund the new project, Armagh are planning to launch a new fund-raising draw that will see clubs purchasing tickets with some of the profits going to the county and the majority remaining with the clubs. A similar model in Down has proven extremely successful.
Armagh’s lack of training facilities has caused huge problems in the past. Indeed, Orchard squads have had to train in Monaghan, Down, Tyrone and Louth on numerous occasions with no club facilities available in their own county.
The county squads have been based at Callanbridge in the city, but although work has been done to improve the grounds there, it is still not up to the standard required for inter-county teams.
SUNDAY’S meeting of Down and Armagh will be the first time that Páirc Esler has hosted an Ulster Championship...