A Castlederg football team that can boast of having a supporter within the current Liverpool FC squad has just received funding from Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots.

Liverpool player Conor Bradley is from the local area and keeps a keen eye on local football teams, including Dergview Football Club.

The Club is one of the first projects to benefit from DAERA’s £2million Rural Halls Refurbishment and the grant received will be used to carry out vital renovations to the County Tyrone team’s facilities. Dergview received £39,900 towards total project costs of £42,350 for refurbishment works to their Hall, which will include the replacement of a boiler, double-glazing of windows and doors, new flooring, replacement lighting and painting throughout.

During a visit to the club, Minister Poots saw at first-hand the poor condition of the Hall, which highlighted the need for investment in order to make facilities fit for purpose.

Minister Poots said: “I am very pleased to be visiting Dergview FC and look forward to seeing the results of this much needed investment, which will improve the standard and quality of the recreational and community infrastructure for the residents of this and surrounding communities.

The Minister continued: “As the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has shown recreational and community activities are very important and play a large part in sustaining the health and well-being of communities and these facilities will provide current and future generations with an excellent resource to enjoy in the weeks, months and years ahead.

The Minister concluded: “My Department is currently developing and delivering on a number of pilot schemes, which includes the Rural Halls Refurbishment Scheme. This initiative will help keep community facilities viable, remain sustainable and identify new volunteers, all of which is vital in order to allow them to provide a gathering place where people can feel involved and supported within their local communities.”

Notes to editors:

  1. The Rural Halls Refurbishment Scheme is one of a number of pilot initiatives which emanated from the consultative works undertaken when drawing up the new Rural Policy Framework.
    The outcomes and lessons from this Scheme will contribute to the development of a future programme under the Rural Policy Framework however it is too early to confirm the type of programme and grant levels that will evolve from ongoing consultations
  2. The Scheme targets rural halls in areas where there is significant deficiencies in ‘Access to Services’ and which have had limited previous investment, are under-utilised and restricted in usage.
  3. The first 30 organisations (including Dergview FC) have already completed their training and received their Letters of Offer. The remaining 20 organisations commenced their training in early January and should receive their grant aid Letters of Offer for their capital works in March/April 2022. At this juncture it is anticipated that the first 30 organisations will have their capital works completed by 31 March 2022 and the additional 20 will be completed by September 2022.
  4. The Rural Halls Refurbishment Scheme is closed for applications.