Institute FC hope funding will help them realise new stadium dream

A picture of Institute's Danny Lafferty celebrating
-Credit: (Image: INPHO/Presseye/Stephen Hamilton)

Institute FC are hoping the long-awaited allocation of funding to upgrade football stadiums in Northern Ireland will see the club realise its dream of building a new home ground in the Waterside area of Londonderry. Last week communities Minister Gordon Lyons announced the £36.2m financial package to improve facilities here would finally be released.

Institute, who currently ground share with League Of Ireland side Derry City FC at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium, were forced out of their Riverside Stadium home in 2017. The ground was devastated by flooding before it was infested with Japanese knotweed.

It was always the club's dream to return to the Waterside area of the new city in a new home. Their plan is for a multi-purpose football stadium at Clooney Park West and club director Gary Forth said they were hopeful of being in a position to submit a planning application "imminently".

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"Institute are in a real position of need to have their own stadium," Mr Forth told BBC Radio Foyle's North West Today programme. "Our chairman Bill Anderson was at the event at Windsor Park last week.

"All of the details of the criteria [for funding] has not been laid out yet, but at surface level, there is a massive need for us to have our own stadium and be re-ingrained in the centre of the Waterside. We have to be a Waterside club again and do something again for the community there."

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