Foyle Arena Opens

New £12.7m leisure and live events facility aimed to be a major asset to Derry and the wider region

The ceremonial opening of Derry’s new £12.7m flagship leisure facility, the Foyle Arena, took place today. The new state of the art leisure and events arena, located at St Columb’s Park, is one of Derry City Council’s most exciting and ambitious capital build projects, representing a significant investment for the Waterside area of the city.

The centre will be officially handed over to the Council on April 17 and will open to the public on Monday, April 27.

Speaking at today’s ceremony, the Mayor, Councillor Brenda Stevenson, said the Foyle Arena will hugely benefit the entire city and put Derry on the map in terms of providing a sports facility and an events venue of regional scale and significance. The facility will open its doors to the public next month.

The Department for Social Development has provided funding of over £656,000 to this project. DSD Minister Mervyn Storey said: 'I am delighted to hear that the Foyle Arena is due to open to the public shortly. I have no doubt that the facilities on offer here will prove to be a major asset to Londonderry and the wider region.

'The DSD funding has enabled the indoor sports hall to be converted to facilitate events capable of seating up to 2,000 people. During the UK City of Culture in 2013, the city enjoyed a number of high profile events and my Department’s investment in this project will build on the legacy of that successful year by providing a new venue to stage similar events in the future.' 

Mayor Cllr Brenda Stevenson added: 'This project marks a significant investment by Derry City Council for leisure provision fit for the 21st century. I am delighted that the project is on schedule and on budget and I am overwhelmed at the quality of the workmanship and the range of world class facilities we have to offer.

'This project has been made possible through major funding from Derry City Council with support from DSD. I am delighted that in addition to sport and leisure facilities the Foyle Arena will also be a permanent venue for cultural, entertainment and commercial events, allowing us to extend our cultural and events offering in the city and region.'

Noel Munnis, Head of Culture, Leisure and Community Services at Derry City Council, said the project was a hugely exciting development for the city.

'The Foyle Arena will open to the public on Monday, April 27 and will provide a multi-purpose indoor Sports Hall with seating capacity of 2,000, designed to host major sports and cultural events, a fully equipped fitness suite, a strength and conditioning area along with a purpose built sports development and athlete support services area.

'It will house a 25m swimming pool with a movable floor alongside a separate children’s pool and a new outdoor synthetic five-a-side pitch. Plans also include centres of excellence facilities for judo, wrestling and indoor climbing. The climbing area which is designed to cater for all levels from completed beginners to international competitors will boast an international standard 15m high competition climbing wall complemented by a technical bouldering section, the most advanced of its kind anywhere in Ireland.' 

Eamon O’Hare, managing director of main contractor O’Hare & McGovern, said he was delighted to be associated with a new landmark project in the city and for the general public in the wider North West area.

'It’s a facility like no other in this particular region. We are immensely proud of the development and are especially pleased that the City Council and the Mayor, have acknowledged the skill and craftsmanship involved. “This is a city with a powerful cultural, artistic and leisure heartbeat and I have no doubt the Foyle Arena will quickly establish itself as a very, very special venue.'