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Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media | Swimming pool development programme

To ask the Minister for Tourism; Culture; Arts; Gaeltacht; Sport and Media the extent to which the swimming pool development programme is expected to continue; the basis on which it will continue over the next two years; the extent of the programme to date in dealing with the needs as represented by local communities throughout the country; and if she will make a statement on the matter.


In relation to my Department’s responsibilities, capital funding for new swimming pools or the refurbishment of existing 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 programme with the Lucan project currently under construction.

My Department’s capital support for any new swimming pools is now being provided through the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF). The National Development Plan provided a capital allocation of at least €100 million for the Fund over the period to 2027. The first call for proposals under the LSSIF closed in 2019 with applications confined to local authorities and National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of Sport. The first allocations were announced in January 2020 and thus far, approximately €86.4 million has been awarded to 33 different proposals including 8 swimming pool projects. Full details of all allocations are available at:-  

While the priority in the short term is to advance the projects that were already allocated funding, a review of the LSSIF Programme is underway. My Department has now met with all successful grantees and work is at an advanced stage in drafting the review. I expect this work to be finalised shortly. As part of that review, the Department is examining, inter alia, progress on all projects awarded funding to date, whether there is any scope to award additional grants and whether there should be a new call for proposals.

Furthermore, work has advanced on the development of the first National Swimming Strategy based on a vision to ‘provide everyone in Ireland with an opportunity to swim’.  The Working Group tasked with the detailed work of preparing the strategy is chaired by my Department and comprises representatives from relevant NGBs and stakeholders. An extensive consultation process has been undertaken across both stakeholders and the public and work is ongoing on the analysis of the very large number of responses received to ensure that the Strategy encompasses all of the issues raised to the greatest extent possible. It is hoped to finalise the new Strategy in the coming months and it will further guide future swimming pool investment policy.

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