The money will be used to upgrade floodlighting and improve pitch drainage. The initiative will benefit not only Ards Rugby Club but also the Newtownards Royal British Legion Football Club, Regent House School and Lough Cuan Bowmen, a local archery club.
Neil Workman, Grants Officer at Ards RFC commented: “We are delighted with the news that the Club has received funding. It will make a huge difference to our club and the local community, ensuring our facilities can be used by both local sports clubs and schools throughout the year and not just during summer months. A lot of work went into the preparation of this bid and I’d like to thank the Club volunteers involved and also the IRFU Ulster Branch, in particular David Johnston and Matthew Holmes for their guidance throughout the process.”
Niamh-Anne McNally from Alpha Resource Management commented, “We’re delighted to be able to announce this latest round of awards, and continue to be impressed by the variety and quality of applications to the programme. Investment in sporting facilities is key to engaging and encouraging the next generation, and the inclusion of floodlights means that more members can avail of the facilities into the evening.”
The Alpha Programme has supported over 170 community and biodiversity projects since it was launched in 2008. Ten years on, it has distributed over £5.5 million through the Landfill Communities Fund to projects dedicated to bringing positive change to communities within a 15-mile radius of the landfill site at Mullaghglass on the outskirts of Lisburn. The Programme is managed by Groundwork NI.
Richard Rogers who oversees the Programme for Groundwork NI added: “We were very impressed by the Club’s commitment to making their grounds a multi-sports hub, and hope that this support will be another significant step in helping them realise their grand ambitions for the site and the sporting community in Ards.”
Updated 21:11 - 3 Mar 2019 by STEPHEN NUTT