An artists impression of the new Harps stadium in Stranorlar
We're disappointed but the drive to get a new stadium will continue - that's the message from Finn Harps this weekend in relation to the long-running saga over the plans to move to a ground in Stranorlar.
Last week, a wave of new funding for major projects around the country was announced.
But Finn Park was not on the list, and the club has expressed its "disappointment at the exclusion of the Donegal Community Stadium Project from the funding approvals" announced by the Department of Sport in recent days.
The project had previously been approved by the Department of Sport, and commenced on site, with substantial work carried out. However the Department was unable to continue funding during the recession and work ceased.
In a statement today from the club, it was explained that in 2017, given the original commitment to the project and the fact that significant funding was already incurred, the Department proposed a new model to deliver the project, and the Club agreed to same.
Since then the Club has implemented what has been required in line with the new model proposed, and received a Department allocation in respect of same last year.
The Club understood that final funding approval was imminent to complete the main stand, pitch floodlights and ancillary facilities, and "is surprised and disappointed that the project has not been included at this time. The project is 'shovel ready', with detailed design, bill of quantities, planning permission etc all in place."
The Club statement welcomed that fact that the Department has already committed and spent over €1m on the project.
However, it is concerned that further delays are only going to result in increased costs, and the structures already in place on site will deteriorate.
In conclusion, the statement read: "The project cannot be delivered without the support and approval of the Department of Sport. We have not yet had any formal communication from the Department, but we understand that this will be forthcoming within the coming week or two.
"The Club will be following up with with the Department to determine when the commitments already given to the project will be implemented."
Planning permission for a new ground was first obtained back in mid-2005.
Finn Harps received funding of €750,000 in 2007 to commence works at the new stadium.
They hoped to be in the new stadium for the 2013 season. Work ceased on the new stadium due to the recession and lack of funds. There has been limited work on the site since 2014.
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