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Thursday, 28 September, 2000, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
Glentoran plan new stand at Oval
The Oval
Improvements are planned for the Oval in Belfast
A new 1,600 stand is planned for Glentoran's Oval football ground in Belfast.

The Glens are also hoping to introduce a family section at the venue.

The improvements are envisaged as part of the 2million grant package recently announced in June by the Northern Ireland sports minister Michael McGimpsey.

The cash help is expected to come through early next year and many other Irish League clubs will be competing for their share.

Dwindling attendances

It is understood that clubs from the Smirnoff Premiership will get between 25,000 and 250,000 to help upgrade facilties.

The run down state of grounds has been seen as a main reason for dwindling attendances at Irish League matches.

Minister McGimpsey recently launched a 'safe sports ground scheme' which is designed to implement urgent health and safety work.

He promised that spectators should see "an appreciable difference in many of our leading sports grounds within the next 12 months."

Under the scheme, eligible clubs can apply for financial assistance to undertake any of the three programmes of work designated under the scheme - safety management; urgent (first-aid) work and major works.

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See also:

16 Aug 00 |  Northern Ireland
Football Task Force announced
01 Aug 00 |  Northern Ireland
Minister forsees 'important role' for sport
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