Our design team has just completed work on the plans and costs for Phase 1 of the new stadium and these have been submitted to the Dept of Transport, Sport and Tourism for consideration. This process included the production of a very detailed Bill of Quantities including mechanical and electrical, structural and final sign off from our own architects. There have been several meetings with Department officials and there will now be a robust examination of our submissions, but they have indicated that there will be a final decision before the end of the year. If successful we would hope to commence work in the first half of next year with a view to completion within 24 months of the commencement date. Phase 1 includes the main stand, dressing rooms, admin block, pitch and floodlighting, main entrance area, access roads and car parking.
The club intends as part of Phase 2 to put terracing around the other sides of the ground with a view to installing seating and erecting covered stands in some of the terraced area at a later date. It is our hope that most of the terracing will be installed during phase 1 construction, however all elements of phase 2 will be dependent on what funds the club can raise itself.
In addition, the club is actively looking to secure additional lands in close proximity to the new stadium in order that the Finn Harps Academy will have at least two additional pitches in this area as well as a training facility for the first team. Our ambition is to retain Finn Park as the new HQ for both the Academy and women's soccer in Co. Donegal and to seek further financial support to develop a regional centre of excellence for soccer in the Twin Town's area. This is in line with the Council's strategy to develop the Twin Town's catchment area as a sports hub for the entire county.
In early 2019 the Department instructed us that we would have to re-apply for funding for Phase 1 under the Large Scale Infrastructure Fund which had a closing date of April 15th this year. This fund is in line with the National Sports Policy 2018-2027 to increase investment in sporting facilities across the state. One of the criteria for this fund was that Finn Harps had to apply for funding with its national governing body, the FAI. Accordingly there is a joint application submitted from the FAI and Finn Harps for consideration of up to €5m support for this project. At the moment it is unclear if the Department will be approving FAI applications during 2019, so even if successful our target dates may have to be altered at a later date.