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O'Hare & McGovern

Foyle Arena - North-West Regional Sports Campus (NWRSC)

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Project Info

  • Project Category:
    Sports and Leisure
  • Project Name:
    Foyle Arena - North-West Regional Sports Campus (NWRSC)
  • Client:
    Derry City Council
  • Location:
    Foyle Arena, 2 Limavady Rd, Derry BT47 6JY, N.I.
  • Architect:
    Samuel Stevenson & Sons

Project Overview

The new Centre of Sporting Excellence is a creative response to addressing disadvantaged and sports development needs which will facilitate outdoor programmes, high performance programmes and events for the North-West cross-border region.

The arena was constructed in three sections over the contract period which included the demolition of the existing Leisure and substantial siteworks.

To assist further in the programme our staff worked outside normal working hours during evenings/ weekends & holidays to achieve the stated possession date for Derry City Council.

The luxury complex is sited in the grounds of St Columb’s Park, Limavady Road, Derry which was demolished to make way for the new building which delivers elite facilities for Judo, Wrestling and Mountaineering and is fully supported by the National Governing Bodies of each association.

Foyle Arena incorporates;

  • Judo Centre of Excellence for Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland, (and an integral part of the British Judo Association UK High Performance Network plus a strategic collaboration between the NI Judo Federation and the Irish Judo Association);
  • Mountaineering Council of Ireland designated North West Regional Indoor Climbing Centre;
  • NI Olympic Wrestling Association National Wrestling Centre;
  • 25m swimming pool and learner pool;
  • Sports Institute NI (Accredited), Regional, Performance Development Centre (PDC), incorporating Strength and Conditioning, Sports Science and Fitness Suite;
  • Sport NI, North West regional office and NIJF administrative office;
  • Coaching Ireland, North West Coach Education Centre;
  • Changing accommodation, cafeteria and office accommodation;
  • Full-size synthetic sand dressed hockey pitch;
  • 4m high mountaineering hall;
  • Strength and conditioning suite;
  • Hydrotherapy and physiotherapy facilities;
  • 2No 3rd Generation Synthetic Floodlight 5-a-side pitches.

Due to the fact the 36m Main Arena Hall has the capacity to seat 2,000 people, the entire former St Columb’s Leisure Centre complex could fit inside the 7,000sqm building, revealing the venue as the largest indoor facility in the region.

In order to achieve acoustic specification acoustic reverberation was mitigated within the auditorium through acoustic panels mounted  on the walls and ceilling area. Extensive air conditioning and extraction units controlled the environmental conditions with the auditorium. All were installed with acoustic dampeners to mitigate any noise pollution.

The auditorium is enclosed by 3 external walls which dictated that the transfer of noise from the exterior to the inside and from the interior to the outside was a critical success factor for our Client. All walls deployed a ‘twin wall’ design solution with an internal cavity block and external panelling with a seperation to provide a sound buffer.

Key Features

  • Excellent BREEAM rating 
  • Shortlisted for 2015 CEF Construction Excellence Award
  • Live operational site
  • Phased construction
  • Demolition
  • 3rd generation synthetic floodlight 5-a-side pitches
  • 25m swimming pool
  • Smart Waste System
  • Achieved acoustic specification
  • Other facilities includes: Changing accommodation, cafeteria, office accommodation; full-size synthetic sand dressed hockey pitch, 4m high mountaineering hall, strength & conditioning suite & hydrotherapy & physiotherapy facilities.


  • This project marks a significant investment by Derry City Council for leisure provision fit for the 21st century. Councillor Brenda Stevenson
  • The Foyle Arena is a hugely impressive centre and a fantastic resource for the people of the city and region. Mayor Colr. Elisha McCallion
  • It’s a facility like no other in this particular region. Eamon O’Hare, Managing Director of main contractor O’Hare & McGovern