Over €750,000 funding approved for Clara Swimming Pool

Damian Moran

Reporter:

Damian Moran

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A grant of €784,000 has been allocated by Minister Michael Ring to Offaly County Council for the refurbishment of the swimming pool in Clara under the Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme.

A grant of €784,000 has been allocated by Minister Michael Ring to Offaly County Council for the refurbishment of the swimming pool in Clara under the Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme.

This funding will go towards the total refurbishment of Clara Swimming Pool which the committee expect to cost in the region of €1.1 million.

The planned works for the 25m, 4-lane indoor heated swimming pool will include considerable refurbishment to bring the pool into line with modern swimming pool standards incorporating energy saving features and reducing running costs.

The refurbishment will include a new roof, new tiling of pool and floor, replacement of toilet cubicles and sanitary ware, replacement of external windows and doors, upgrading of electrical and mechanical services, insulation of walls, floor and roof and new changing room facilities as well as development of the car park area.

Local Independent Councillor Dervill Dolan welcomed the recent funding approval under the Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme.

Cllr Dolan added that additional funding of €250,000 was previously approved by Offaly County Council towards the Clara Swimming Pool upgrade and refurbishment project under the Development Contributions Scheme.

Cllr Dolan said he worked on this project with the swimming pool committee members over many years and with their professional advisors and the staff at Offaly County Council and he complimented all those involved with the project to date. Cllr Dolan thanked the present committee members for their dedication and voluntary commitment in seeking to have the refurbishment works carried out at the swimming pool. I also want to acknowledge and thank the management and staff at the swimming pool for their on-going commitment and the many past committee members for their voluntary efforts over the years.

This project is very much a co-ordinated effort by everybody involved and I would also like to thank Monica Cleary from Offaly County Council who has co-ordinated the planning and grant application process with the Clara Swimming Pool committee.

Cllr Dolan added, “Now that the planning permission and funding is approved the next important step is to proceed with the refurbishment work and upgrade as soon as possible. The improved facilities planned for Clara Swimming Pool will greatly enhance the leisure facilities for the people of Clara and the surrounding area including the many national and secondary schools within its direct catchment area and will be a great addition to the new community playground recently completed on the swimming pool grounds.

“I wish to acknowledge and thank the people of Clara and the surrounding areas who have been so supportive of the swimming pool and the many fundraising events held over the years,” Cllr Dolan concluded.

Fine Gael TD Marcella Corcoran Kennedy welcomed the news commenting, “ I am delighted that at last the approval for the pool at Clara has finally come through. Having learned to swim there myself , I can testify to the fabulous amenity it has been for the people of Clara and the surrounding area for so many years. The planned refurbishment will bring it up to state of the art standard and give people of all ages the opportunity for exercise and recreation.”

Local Fianna Fail TD Barry Cowen has welcomed the announcement of the funding stating, “I am delighted that funding has been granted to Clara Swimming Pool for their refurbishment project. This announcement is testament to the outstanding work carried out by the Clara Swimming Pool Committee who have worked tirelessly on this project for many years.

“I want to pay tribute to the Clara Swimming Pool Committee who have all worked on a voluntary basis, the staff and management of the pool who have contributed not only to the water safety and awareness of the community but also worked through very challenging periods that the Swimming Pool faced. Credit must also be given to the County Council staff and members who have worked with and will continue to work with all involved in this vital local facility. I would also like to commend all whose contributions allowed for this announcement to be so positive for Clara and the surrounding communities.”

Deputy Cowen added, “I will continue to work closely with all parties concerned particularly the Swimming Pool Committee to ensure that the Clara Swimming Pool Refurbishment project is completed on time, ensuring that this vital facility continues to play its role in the recreational and educational role in our community for many years to come.

“On a personal note I am particularly pleased to see this work progressing. My family has had strong links with this facility from the time it was first proposed and built many years ago and I think it is only right that there is further investment to ensure it can continue to serve the community in Clara,” Deputy Cowen concluded.