Planning application kicks off new era for Ards FC

Hamilton Architects have submitted a planning application on behalf of Ards Football Club for a new £4m Premiership-ready stadium in Newtownards.

The 2,000-capacity grounds will include two stands with 830 seats, changing rooms, floodlights, and a shared car park at the Floodgates, a six acre plot of Council-owned land next to their traditional home of Castlereagh Park.

Consultations were undertaken to ensure as many stakeholders as possible had their say in the design and its integration into the local setting. It is hoped planning permission will be secured in the near future.

Ards Chairman Warren Patton said: “We look forward to working with Ards and North Down Borough Council and all the people of Ards area as we aim to make our dream of returning home a reality.”

The proposed design provides a long-awaited permanent base for the thriving senior and junior teams as well as allowing the club to work with schools, youth groups, sports clubs, and sports organisations to develop a true stadium for the community.

Ards FC was formed in 1900 at Ards Recreation Grounds before moving in 1923 to Castlereagh Park at Portaferry Road, 500m north of the proposed development site. Since 2001, Ards have played home games at Solitude, Taylor’s Avenue, Dixon Park, and Clandeboye Park.