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€1.1m grant will help restoration of historic Markets Field

The redevelopment of the historic Markets Field sports ground in Limerick is within touching distance following the announcement of €1.1m in funding for the project.

The 3,000-plus capacity stadium will provide for the return of Limerick FC to its spiritual home ending its two-year stint at Thomond Park after being promoted to the Premier Division for the 2013 season.

The new facility will also become a centre for other sports and community organisations, in keeping with the objectives of the Limerick Regeneration Programme.

Work on relaying the playing surface at the grounds, which has been unoccupied since 2009, has already been completed.

The facility, which will meet FAI standards, will come complete with a 124m by 80m pitch and includes the conversion of the existing stand to 900 seats and 25-seat disabled viewing area; a 300-seat home supporters stand; and 300-seat away supporter stand.

The development also includes the renovation of the Tote Building and other existing buildings to changing rooms, medical, testing, toilet blocks, media offices/classroom facilities, and terracing.

Together with €400,000 raised by the Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership, the €1.1m announced by minister for state for housing and planning Jan O’Sullivan bridges the existing shortfall on the project and enable its completion by the end of 2014.

The project has also benefited from the JP McManus Foundation to the tune €1.5m.

Announcing the funding, Ms O’Sullivan said: "The Markets Field holds a special place in the hearts of all Limerick sporting interests."