Prime Minister says UK government will make 'significant contribution' to building of Casement Park in time for the Euros

The Prime Minister has reconfirmed his commitment to making a "significant" contribution towards the building of Casement Park ahead of the Euros in 2028. Rishi Sunak was speaking in Belfast during a visit to Northern Ireland as part of a whistle-stop tour of the UK to launch his election campaign.

Speaking after a report by Grant Thornton estimated that holding five games of the Euros in 2028 at Casement Park would bring in £106m for the local economy, the Prime Minister confirmed that Northern Ireland would have a "wonderful legacy" following the tournament.

"We said that we would make a significant contribution to Casement Park. The conversations are ongoing with the Department but what I will also say is that there is going to be a wonderful legacy of the Euros here in Northern Ireland."

Read more: Map shows all MPs standing down on July 4 - check your area

Read more: Casement Park: Report says hosting Euro 2028 would boost local economy by £106M

Adding to that, Secretary of State, Chris Heaton Harris said that when he said the money would be found to build Casement, the costs have since risen.

"When I said we would find the money for Casement Park, the costs were £166m. Those costs have risen and we are going to make a significant contribution to Casement Park and Northern Ireland will see a wonderful legacy of the Euros when they come here."

Elsewhere, addressing the fact that he is here on a campaign stop when in the 2019 General Election, the four Conservative candidates who stood in Northern Ireland won a combined 5433 votes, or 0.7% of the overall vote in NI, the Prime Minister said that he came to Northern Ireland because he "cares deeply" about the region.

"I am here because I care deeply about Northern Ireland, the people of Northern Ireland and our Union. I don't know if this is the fifth or sixth time that I have been here in the time that I have been Prime Minister because I have been determined to make sure that the people of Northern Ireland firstly get the government that they deserve and feel part of the union.

"When I first got this job, Chris [Heaton Harris] and I worked very hard through the Windsor Framework and the recent agreement to make that happen.

"So, I am proud of what we have achieved here in Northern Ireland and I am really optimistic and excited about Northern Ireland's future."

For all the latest news, visit the Belfast Live homepage here and sign up to our daily newsletter here.