When complete, Parc Eirias Events Centre will create a centre of sporting excellence with an upgraded rugby pitch to WRU International Standard, a 2,500-seat covered grandstand, floodlights and team changing facilities. It will provide a venue for community, cultural and sporting events, and will become the new home of the senior WRU North Wales representative team and the WRU North Wales Academy.
There will also be a large multi-purpose indoor centre for use by all the community including conference and classroom facilities for business and commerce events, as well as an indoor pitch, a gym and high performance sports analysis facilities. A pitch protection system will be installed to allow spectators to stand on the sports pitch for outdoor concerts, and the multi-use centre will also be used for smaller concerts and functions.
This project has received £4.8m backing from the Welsh Assembly Government through the European Regional Development Fund, the Targeted Match Fund and Strategic Regeneration Area funding. Financial support has also been secured from the Welsh Rugby Union along the with the Conwy County Borough Council's own funds.
The First Minister said: "I'm pleased to visit Colwyn Bay to see the exciting plans in store for Parc Eirias. I'm happy that the Assembly Government has been able to support this development as Wales' reputation as a venue for hosting sporting activities is growing - and this new Events Centre will offer the necessary facilities to train the sports stars of the future. Parc Eirias will also provide a permanent home for Rygbi Gogledd Cymru and the WRU North Wales Academy which will allow sports fans to experience top class rugby and should bring more visitors to Colwyn Bay."
Leader of Conwy County Borough Council, Cllr Dilwyn Roberts, said "I'm really pleased to see work start on this important development. It's a key part of our plans for regeneration in Colwyn Bay, and will provide first class facilities to host a range of community and sporting events."
WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis said, "The development of Parc Eirias is a significant factor in the Welsh Rugby Union's strategy to actively develop the elite game in North Wales.
"Excellent facilities are a fundamental necessity in this day and age for anyone who wants to encourage sportsmen and women to achieve their full potential and we are delighted that Conwy Council and the Welsh Assembly Government have recognised this.
"The Welsh Rugby Union is committed to developing North Wales rugby and we now have the tools in place to deliver on that promise. There is huge interest in rugby in north Wales and Parc Eirias is now a focal point around which we can build and gain undoubted economic and social benefits for the wider community."