President McAleese Opens Askeaton Pool & Leisure Centre

From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Mon Jan 21 2008


Developed by Askeaton Pool and Leisure Ltd, a special purpose company consisting of Limerick County Council and Askeaton Swimming Club, the newly developed project also marks a milestone in the delivery of public recreation facilities in County Limerick.

The EUR5.66M public facility, the only one of its kind between Limerick City and North Kerry, consists of an indoor 25m swimming pool, kiddies pool, sauna and steam room, changing village and gym facility.

The history of organised swimming in Askeaton goes back to the 1950s when the Askeaton Swimming Club was established. Through the efforts of the swimming club and local community, in conjunction with Limerick County Council, an outdoor heated swimming pool was provided in 1971. Prior to this galas and swimming events were held in the Deel river, which passes through the town. The Askeaton Pool and Leisure Centre is constructed on the site of the original outdoor pool.

"Askeaton Pool and Leisure Ltd. has delivered a state of the art, 21st century leisure facility that is a lasting tribute to Askeatonís proud and lengthy association with organised swimming and water sports", stated Cllr. Kevin Sheahan, Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council and Chairperson of Askeaton Pool & Leisure Limited.

The Cathaoirleach expressed optimism that the new facility would help encourage the people of West Limerick to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

"The community swimming pool will provide a focal point for the community; it will encourage healthy activity for children and adults, as well as being a positive gathering place for members of the local community", explained Cllr. Sheahan.

The Askeaton native added, "I hope that more people in Askeaton and surrounding areas will now become involved in leisure activities, in line with the Councilís vision of improving the health, fitness and well being of County Limerick. I am delighted to see that the new facility is also providing opportunities for employment and training."

Mr. Ned Gleeson, Limerick County Manager, described the new facility as a wonderful example of what can be achieved by adopting a partnership approach to improving community life.

"The collaborative approach adopted in developing the centre is founded on the passion and commitment of the region's businesses and the community of
Askeaton for swimming, combined with the administrative and professional support of Limerick County Council, exchequer grant funding and contributions from the regionís business community", stated the County Manager.

He continued, "Through fostering links with the community, business and sporting sectors the Council feels that this partnership approach will provide a useful template for future joint local authority-community led projects. Projects like this have a significant role to play in the development and future prosperity of the region, so I am delighted the local authority has been able to support it."

"The Council recognises that its participation in the project fulfils many of the core principles contained in its Corporate Plan, including enhancing the quality of life, social inclusion and sustainable development", concluded Mr. Gleeson.

The Askeaton Pool And Leisure Centre project went to tender in 2005, with lead contractor M Fitzgibbon (Builders) Ltd commencing construction in April 2006. Askeaton Pool and Leisure Ltd worked closely with the design team (headed by Holohan Architects, and including Erinaceous Quantity Surveyors, Michael Punch and Partners, Consulting Engineers and Don OíMalley and Partners, Consulting Engineers) in designing the facility.

The centre, which opened to members of the public in August 2007, is being managed and operated by Coral Leisure on behalf of Askeaton Pool and Leisure Ltd.

Funding for the development of the centre was secured from the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism Swimming Pool Grant Scheme (EUR3.809M) and Sports Capitals Grant Scheme (EUR370,000); from Limerick County Council Development Contribution Scheme and from Askeaton Swimming Club fundraising/sponsorship.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors:
- To arrange an interview please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 086-8534900 or media@dunphypr.com.
Background: Askeaton Swimming Club commissioned a feasibility study for an indoor facility in 1998. The Council was invited by Askeaton Swimming Club to become a partner in the realisation of the project in 1999, and the process has been jointly progressed by both parties since. In order to develop and implement the project a special purpose company, Askeaton Pool & Leisure Ltd was established in 2005 with both parties represented on the board of directors.

Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
IRELAND
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