Written answers

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Swimming Pools

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin Bay North, Fine Gael)
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219. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she is aware of the damage suffered to a swimming pool (details supplied); if he is considering setting aside a special fund to support swimming pools in forthcoming capital allocations; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13547/24]

Photo of Thomas ByrneThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail)
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My Department’s direct role in relation to swimming pools is primarily related to providing capital support for the development of such facilities. The day-to-day management of public swimming pools is a matter for the operators of the facilities themselves.

In relation to my Department's responsibilities, capital funding for swimming pools was previously provided through the Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme (LASPP). 52 pools have been completed under the LASPP and three swimming pool projects (Lucan, Buncrana and Edenderry) remain in the LASPP, with the Lucan project currently being completed.

Officials in my Department have engaged with officials in Offaly County Council, in relation to this grant funding, which was allocated in 2012, and I understand that Offaly County Council are now considering their options.

The aim of the LSSIF is to provide Exchequer support for larger sports facility projects, where the Exchequer investment would be greater than the maximum amount available, under the Sports Capital and Equipment Programme (SCEP). The first call for proposals under the LSSIF closed in 2019 with applications confined to Local Authorities and National Governing Bodies of Sport. New swimming pool projects and the refurbishment of existing swimming pools were eligible to apply for LSSIF grant funding subject to published guidelines and regulations. The first LSSIF allocations were announced in January 2020 and thus far, approximately €124 million has been awarded to 33 different proposals including 8 swimming pool projects.

Minister Martin and I also confirmed that a new round of the LSSIF will open for applications in the first half of 2024, with the dates, terms and conditions to be published on the Department’s website in due course. I would encourage all eligible projects to consider applying for this competitive application process when it opens later this year.


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