New £12.7m Foyle arena set to open in Derry

Swimming pool
Image caption The 25m pool has an adjustable floor to cater for different events

A brand new £12.7m Londonderry sports arena in St Columb's Park will be officially opened to the public later on Monday.

It is hoped that the state-of-the-art Foyle arena will become a centre of excellence for wall climbing, judo and wrestling.

The arena, which can hold 2,000 spectators, was funded by Derry City and Strabane District Council.

The Department for Social Development provided £656,000 to the project.

Image caption The arena will be used to host major sports and cultural events

Karen McFarland, Director of Health and Community with the Council, said it represented a significant investment in leisure and health provision for the region.

"We are hugely excited about inviting the public into the Foyle Arena today to see the impressive building and fantastic facilities and equipment on offer.

"The new facility provides a 25m swimming pool with a movable floor alongside a separate children's pool and a new outdoor floodlit 3G synthetic five-a-side pitch. The Foyle Arena will be a centre of excellence for Judo, Wrestling and Indoor Climbing.

"The climbing area which is designed to cater for all levels from complete beginners to international competitors will boast an international standard 15m high competition climbing wall complemented by a technical bouldering section, the most advanced of its kind anywhere in Ireland."

Image caption The climbing wall is one of the biggest in Ireland