FINGAL COUNTY COUNCIL COUNTY COUNCIL MEETING MONDAY 9th OCTOBER 2023 ITEM NO. 42 ALLOCATION OF FUNDING IN THE CAPITAL PROGRAMME FOR SWIMMING POOLS
Motion: Councillor J. Humphreys “That this Council calls for the allocation of funding in the Capital Programme for Swimming Pools in the County.”
Report: Work is underway on the Fingal Sports and Physical Activity Plan 2023 to 2028 which will provide Fingal’s strategic direction in relation to sports and physical activity over the next five years. It is expected that this plan will be completed during Q4 of 2023. Alongside this plan, a facilities audit of Sport and Recreational facilities across the County commenced at the end of the summer and it is expected to take eight months to complete. This audit is examining sport and physical activity facilities across the county both public and private. It is focusing on current and projected needs across Fingal in relation to a wide range of sports and leisure activities including swimming. The results from this audit will provide evidence-based data which will inform future decision-making on the provision of Sports and Physical Activities Infrastructure thus ensuring available resources are allocated appropriately. These two projects are being undertaken against the backdrop of a potential national policy/strategy review by the Department of Sport whereby it is anticipated that further direction will emerge nationally on the provision and funding of swimming pool facilities. In parallel to these two projects, the Council, in recognition of the identification of a site in Castlelands, Balbriggan for the provision of an indoor swimming pool in the Castlelands Masterplan in 2021 has commenced a project to develop an indoor swimming pool facility on this site. This comprehensive piece of work is at an early stage and the project will be subject to obtaining the necessary planning consents and securing the required funding. It is anticipated that the Council will commence the procurement of a design and project management consultant in the coming months to inform this project and an important part of this process will be consultation and liaison with key stakeholders including the community, Elected Representatives, Department of Sport, Swim Ireland and the LDA. The latter organisation is developing infrastructure and housing at the Castlelands site and the plan to develop the swimming pool would be integrated with the development of housing and amenities on the lands. The cost of feasibility study, business planning and design assessments for the development of an indoor swimming pool facility at Castlelands, Balbriggan will be included in the Council’s 2024 - 2026 capital plan. The Members will need to make provision for funding this as part of the 2024 budget. The results of the Sports and Recreational facilities audit, which will be completed the first half of 2024, will help inform the assessment of need for swimming facilities for the County. Elected Members will be kept informed of progress on these various projects and initiatives.
Source of Report: Aoife Lawler, A/Director of Housing and Community Development