BRITISH Secretary of State for the North Chris Heaton-Harris says funding will be secured to build the new Casement Park in West Belfast.

The redeveloped stadium with a 34,500 capacity, is expected to cost at least £110m.

It has been included in a bid by Ireland and the UK to host the 2028 European Football Championship.

Heaton-Harris was speaking in South Antrim as he announced a total of £600,000 of funding for 28 local sports facilities in the North, in conjunction with the Irish Football Association (IFA).

Asked by the BBC who would provide the money, he replied: "All partners. I guarantee it."

When asked if this included central government in London, he said: "I'm quite sure the UK government wants to help but we will work with all partners to deliver the Casement Park stadium."

Asked how much money the UK government was willing to contribute, he said: "I don't actually know how much the whole thing is going to cost. We've seen different estimates. But let's win the bid first.

"Once we win the bid, we'll sit down round a table and the money will get sorted out."

In spite of the ongoing financial and political difficulties, Mr Heaton-Harris remains upbeat about the chances of the West Belfast redevelopment going ahead.

Mr Heaton-Harris added: "I've seen from London 2012 Olympics what having a big stadium built in a locality can do to change the environment and the positive legacy you get from that, and I think that would be brilliant for Northern Ireland.

"It is a vital part of the bid to have games across the four nations of the United Kingdom, and in Ireland as well. And it is a really, really strong bid. We're bidding against strong opponents in Turkey, and everybody wants it to work."