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Radius begins work on major housing and GAA project in Derry

Making the announcement are Lynsay Magill (Radius Housing), Sean Dolan youth players Ben Clifford and Tierna McLaughlin, Stephen McGeehan (Ulster GAA) and Danny Cassidy (Sean Dolan's GAC)

WORK has begun one of the most ambitious housing and community development projects in Derry, with Radius Housing set to construct 119 new homes in the Creggan area.

The project, which also involves Ulster GAA and Derry City & Strabane District Council, will also bring major improvements to the facilities at Sean Dolan’s GAC and develop a new multi-use community facility.

It will transform the lands to the west of the current Sean Dolan grounds at Bligh’s Lane and represents an investment in excess of £20 million in the Creggan area.

Planning permission was secured in January, and P & K McKaigue, the main contractor for the project, will be on site in the coming weeks.

The project is the latest Radius development in the north west, with construction currently under way on the former site of Ebrington Primary School.

Anita Conway, director of development at Radius Housing, said: “We're delighted that the construction of this major project is beginning, and we are excited by the ambition and benefits this will bring to the whole community.

“We have been working with Sean Dolan’s GAC and the other partner organisations for over three years, and we see this as an innovative way to deliver high quality homes, in an area where social homes are needed, and support essential community development.

“As a developer we know the difficulties faced in acquiring suitable development land, and working with Sean Dolan’s we have both been able to develop an innovative partnership approach which addresses a wide range of needs in the local area.

“Working with community based clubs like Sean Dolan’s allows Radius to help them realise their untapped potential, and bring much needed homes to the local area and maximise all available amenities within these areas for the benefit of the local communities. This is so much more than a housing project and a sports hub.

“This will be a vital economic and social driver for the Creggan area and City wide.

Stephen McGeehan, head of operations for Ulster GAA, said “Every GAA club is keen to develop the best facilities for their members, which allow their teams across all ages to develop their skills and increase fitness and wellbeing. But there are always limitations on how this can be done, and we are delighted that Sean Dolan’s have been able to partner with Radius Housing on this amazing and far reaching project.

“This will bring an incredible level of community benefit, not just to the club, but to the wider city area, and we hope it is a new partnership model which can be replicated in other GAA and sports clubs.”

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has welcomed commencement of the work on the new much needed social homes in the city.

She said: “I’m delighted to see this work started. My priority is to deliver housing in areas where it is needed, and Derry City needs more housing. This £11 million investment is part of my new build programme, a programme I was able to secure £162 million to be invested this year.

“I look forward to seeing other developments in the near future as we continue to deliver the biggest shake up of our housing system in over 50 years.

“Housing, and having a place to call home, is a fundamental right. I am committed to delivering a housing system that delivers rights to everyone across society.”

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