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Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, has officially opened new outdoor facilities at Upper Malone playing fields, following a £20m investment in its sports provision.

The project is designed to establish the institution as one of the leading sports universities in Ireland and will see the facilities made available to students and the local community.

At the centre of the project was the construction of the Arena Pitch, one of the only in the UK and Ireland to accommodate football, rugby and Gaelic Games on one single site.

The opening of the outdoor facilities marks the completion of a £13m second phase of work, which has also included 14 additional pitches and a spectator stand adjoining the new stand.

More than 20 changing rooms and additional changing facilities to the south of the site have been provided, along with a strength and conditioning suite.

It follows the completion of the first £7m phase in 2006, which included the expansion of the university's Physical Education Centre at Botanic.

Queen's University head of sport Liz McLaughlin said: "We want to enrich the student experience. We want to nurture a new generation of sportsmen and women who will make their mark.

"We want to help them develop their natural abilities with facilities which are second to none. We firmly believe that with the facilities now available at Queen's we are best positioned to do just that."

Details: www.qub.ac.uk

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Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, has officially opened new outdoor facilities at Upper Malone playing fields, following a £20m investment in its sports provision.
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