At the Leisure & development committee on 15th March 2022 a decision was taken not to provide any further financial support to the Harry Gregg Legacy Foundation as it was felt that further clarification was required, however that decision was overturned this evening.
Speaking to Causeway Coast Community Councillor William McCandless said "I proposed this evening that the £5K be awarded and appealed to the members for their support. My colleague Councillor Watton seconded my proposal.
The Harry Gregg Foundation is a charity body aimed at engaging the participation of youth and the community and inspiring young people to follow in Harry’s footsteps and live the dream.
Last Saturday 57 games (114 teams) were played involving approx .1300 young people along with 19 volunteer referees.
The Foundation has been operating for 10 years with no financial assistance from Council.
Councillor McCandless went on to say "At the Committee meeting the amount of £5K was quibbled over, this money was necessary to complete the business case which had been agreed in May 2021.
"The Youth Zone has been successful in England, the model needs to be tweaked for Northern Ireland. I understood most parties have received this project with enthusiasm and to quote the Community Minister 'This could be a pilot project for the rest of Northern Ireland'.
"Offers have been made by Council for other sites in Coleraine, but they would not be suitable. The Foundation wishes to focus its energy on the University site and it is fairly obvious why:- unlimited ground which is well cared for, ample parking. There are other spin-offs to the proposed dome :- outdoor pursuits which will include the river, the Bann estuary and woodland pursuits.
"There are youth teams from Dungiven, Limavady, Ballymoney, Ballycastle, Coleraine, Portrush, Portstewart and further away from Ballymena, Magherafelt, Draperstown and Antrim.
"Harry Gregg, one of the Busby Babes, survivor and hero of the Munich air disaster, a famous son of this Borough, this is the legacy we are talking about. To help others 'To dare to Dream' - Harry’s words and his vision for helping young people was to give children and local people the opportunity to participate in life-changing youth and sports development programmes. Harry reached global fame but he remained humble and completely grounded."
As per normal Council procedures, all decisions are subject to the ‘call-in’ process.