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PLANS to build a 3G astroturf sports pitch at Newtownabbey Community High School have been shelved by the North Eastern Education and Library Board (NEELB).

The ambitious project, which was first mooted almost five years ago following the tragic death of NCHS fifth form pupil Dean Clarke, would have seen a new sports facility developed at Rathcoole Drive, for use by pupils of the High School, Whitehouse Primary School and the wider community.

It’s understood that plans for the synthetic pitch were at an advanced stage and that Sport NI had set aside funding of £250,000 for the project. Newtownabbey Borough Council had also committed £25,000 towards development costs.

However, with the deadline for funding applications to Sport NI having passed in June this year without the Board having submitted the Rathcoole plan for consideration, it looks like the opportunity to secure a quarter of a million pounds in grant aid has been lost.

Read the full story in this week’s Times...