Construction is already underway on a £1m upgrade to Institute Football Club's ground in Drumahoe, Northern Ireland.

Riverside Stadium will receive a new 650-seater East Stand with, turnstiles, security fencing and CCTV, as well as a new control room, media suite and toilets.

First minister Peter Robinson and the sports minister Nelson McCausland kicked off the ground breaking ceremony which will see stadium capacity increase to 3,000.

Peter Robinson said the improvements would provide "safer and more attractive family friendly facilities for fans.

"This in turn will help promote greater participation in sport."

Billy Gillard, a member of Institute's development committee, told the BBC that the club were delighted the work was underway and said: "In terms of comfort and safety we will have one of the best stands around, and that includes good facilities for people with disabilities.

"Hopefully this will enable us to attract more players and more spectators, and it will be good for the Drumahoe area all round."

Chief executive of sport Northern Ireland, Eamonn McCartan, said the upgrade would improve the health and safety of spectators.

"This will greatly improve the safety infrastructure at the venue, and also ensure that the facilities on offer meet the expectations of spectators in terms of comfort and accessibility."

The work is due to be completed by March 2011.

Posted on 18/11/2010