An allocation of €706,000 has been approved as the second and final phase of the Covid-19 swimming pool grant scheme.

Sport Ireland appointed Ireland Active, the representative body for the leisure, health and fitness sector, to administer the swimming pool grant scheme, supported by Swim Ireland.

The second phase of grants average out between two and three thousand euro’s and will be dropping to over 300 swimming pool operators in every county of the country.

The €2.5m funding scheme was announced as part of the July Stimulus package which aimed to support publicly accessible swimming pools respond to the challenge associated with maintaining swimming pools and the effort to reopen and remain open, within COVID-19 safety protocols, and to promote participation in the sport of swimming.

“It continues to be a very difficult time for swimming pool operators and the funding announced today, as well as that announced in December, will provide some stability in the months ahead, Said Catherine Martin, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, welcoming the announcement.

The ongoing restrictions continue to cause uncertainty for swimming pool operators, which remain closed at the current Level 5. In December 2020 €2,386,519 was awarded to over 200 facilities. This second phase will ease the pressure as hope remains of a reopening timeline as part of the Government announcement due next week.

“In 2019 the Irish Sports Monitor identified swimming as the second most popular sport amongst adults,” added Minister of State Jack Chambers. “While pools have been closed due to the public health restrictions, this funding will help them to emerge from this crisis ready to welcome people back as soon as is safe to do so.”

“The high cost of maintaining pools while closed, and the difficulty of reopening at reduced capacity, is acknowledged by the Government and Sport Ireland,” said Sport Ireland CEO, John Treacy.

“We are working with Ireland Active and Swim Ireland to ensure that pools are in a position to reopen to their communities in line with public health advice.”

“It is important for local communities that sports facilities such as swimming pools are serviced and maintained throughout lockdown in order to ensure that reopening occurs when it is appropriate and safe to do so,” added Joe Cosgrove, Chairperson of Ireland Active.

 

 

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