Louth County Council hope to carry out a major refurbishment at Dundalk Leisure Centre this summer courtesy of new €300,000 funding allocated to the project this week, with a particularly focus on improving disability access changing facilities.
The funding was announced on Monday as part of the government’s Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund. The first tranche of nationwide allocations – totalling a little over €77 million – was announced by Minister for Sport Shane Ross and Brendan Griffin, Minister of State for Sport.
A total of 25 projects, notably two €10 million allocations for projects including a new stand at the RDS Arena in Dublin, a new high performance training centre an stadium in Galway city and a €6.7 million redevelopment of Pairc Tailteann in Navan, have been partially funded by the scheme.
The total cost of works at Dundalk Leisure Centre is estimated at €492,000. The money awarded to the the town centre amenity will go towards the upgrade of the swimming pool wet changing village with a major emphasis on modernising disability access.
Fergus O’Dowd TD for Louth says it offer a considerable benefit to users of the facility.
“I supported this particular project directly to Minister Brendan Griffin in 2018. I have also seen the benefit of a similar upgrade that took place in the Drogheda Leisure Centre recently which has transformed the changing facilities and made the leisure centre much more accessible.”
Commenting on the award of the funding for the works, Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council, Councillor Liam Reilly said, This is great news for the town of Dundalk and surrounding areas. I am particularly pleased that the proposal will address the obvious need for changing village improvements and for improved access for people with disabilities.”
“The refurbishment project in Dundalk will mirror the works carried out in the Council Leisure Centre in Drogheda last year and I am delighted that a Changing Places Standard Facility for people with disabilities will be incorporated into the works,” Chief Executive of Louth County Council Joan Martin remarked.
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“This will be the third such changing facility provided by Louth County Council in the County. In addition, I am desirous that the works will be carried out during the summer months with as little disruption as possible to the Leisure Centre users and operator.”
The council say that Dundalk Leisure Centre will remain open at as much as possible during the work, confirming to LouthNow.ie that closure of the swimming pool will be kept to a minimum while there will be minimum closure of the gym facilities.
“The timing of the works will form part of the tender requirements and we are satisfied based on our experience in carrying out such works at the Drogheda Facility that it will ensure as much of the regular service as possible is provided,” a council spokesperson told LouthNow.ie.
The spokesperson said that evidence shows that less users are impact by works carried out during Christmas and Summer periods.
“The summer period is particularly practical as schools are closed and the extensive number of school groups using the facilities has stopped. It is also the traditional holiday period for most people so again general usage of the facility is reduced.”
Louth County Council say the exact time line for repairs is not yet agreed due to having only just secured the funding and they will now close out on the Procurement procedure.
Commenting, Minister Griffin said; “This is a very good day for Irish sport. Our priority remains to get as many people participating in sport as possible. The successful projects announced today include a mix of sports stadia which will be graced by our elite athletes but also swimming pools and other sports facilities which will be used by all ages and abilities.”