The Government has announced funding of €19 million to build “world-class” facility centres at beaches and inland water spots across the country.
The centres at 22 different locations will provide hot showers, changing and toilet facilities, secure storage, induction spaces, equipment washdown and orientation points.
They will be built using sustainability “best practices” such as solar heating panels to meet nearly zero energy building standards, and will be fully wheelchair accessible.
Announcing the investment scheme, developed in partnership with Fáilte Ireland and local authorities, Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin said the new centres would support local economies and the outdoor water-based activity sector “by significantly improving the overall visitor experience”.
“Ireland is world-class when it comes to providing water-based activities which are enjoyed by local communities and visitors along our stunning coastline, rivers and lakes,” she said.
“We’ve seen a significant upward trend in people enjoying outdoor water activities over the last year and we know the appeal of the outdoors will continue to grow post-Covid-19 so we must ensure the Irish experience meets and exceeds visitor expectations.”
The Minister said the centres would be “sustainable, accessible and integrate into the natural environment of their locations.”
Extend tourism season
They will also allow the “extension of the traditional tourism season beyond the summer months,” Ms Martin added.
Paul Kelly, chief executive of Fáilte Ireland said: “Our temperate climate can offer year-round quality outdoor experiences.
“In order for Ireland to be recognised internationally as a best-in-class activity destination it is critical that we invest in building a sustainable activity infrastructure, compelling visitor experiences and developing the capacity of activity providers.”
Mr Kelly said the investment scheme would create new opportunities for activity operators to benefit local jobs and businesses while helping spread visitors across the regions.
Phase 1 of the scheme has an expected completion date of summer 2022, with a potential second phase in 2023.
Moira Murrell, chair of the County and City Management Association (CCMA) community and tourism committee, said the amenities would also benefit local communities.
“Amenities like this are not only of benefit to visitors but also to the local community, and we look forward to creating further opportunities for participants and providers of water-based activities and further strengthening our nationwide appeal as a world-class activity tourism destination,” she said.
|Facility Centre||Location||Local Authority||Regional Brand|
|Docklands Water Sports||North Wall Quay Pontoons, Dublin 1||Dublin City Council||Dublin|
|DLRCC Killiney Beach Facilities Project||Killiney Beach, Killiney, Co Dublin||Dun Laoghaire Rathdown||Dublin|
|Claycastle Sports Activity Facility||Claycastle, Youghal, County Cork||Cork County Council||Ireland’s Ancient East|
|Kilkenny Water Sports Hub||County Hall, John St, Kilkenny||Kilkenny County Council||Ireland’s Ancient East|
|Tramore Water-Sports Activity Facility Centre||Promenade, Tramore, Co Waterford||Waterford County Council||Ireland’s Ancient East|
|Ardmore Water-Sports Activity Facility Centre||Public Car Park, Cois Tra, Ardmore, Co Waterford||Waterford County Council||Ireland’s Ancient East|
|Curracloe Water Sports Activity Centre||Whitegap,
Curracloe, County Wexford
|Wexford County Council||Ireland’s Ancient East|
|Ballycuggeran Sports Activity Facility||Ogonnelloe, Killaloe, County Clare.||Clare County Council||Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands|
|Acres Lake Activity Facility||Acres Lake, Drumshambo, Co Leitrim||Leitrim County Council||Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands|
|Dromineer Sports Activity Facility||Dromineer, Nenagh, Co Tipperary||Tipperary County Council||Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands|
|Kilkee Waterworld Activity Facilities||Waterworld, East End, Kilkee, Co. Clare||Clare County Council||Wild Atlantic Way|
Ballinspittle, Co Cork
|Cork County Council||Wild Atlantic Way|
|Tullan Strand Centre for Water Sports Activities Bundoran||Drumacrin, Tullan
Strand, Bundoran, Co Donegal
|Donegal County Council||Wild Atlantic Way|
|Downings Water Sports Activity Facility||Cnoc Na Muirleog, Na Muirleog, Na Dunaibh, Co Donegal||Donegal County Council||Wild Atlantic Way|
|Corrib Sports & Adventure||Dyke Road, Terryland, Galway||Galway City Council||Wild Atlantic Way|
|Ballybunion Beach Shared Facilities Centre||Men’s (South) Beach, Ballybunion, Co Kerry||Kerry County Council||Wild Atlantic Way|
|Fenit Beach Shared Facility Centre||Fenit Beach, Fenit, Co. Kerry||Kerry County Council||Wild Atlantic Way|
|Magherabeg Shared Facilities Centre||Magherabeg Lower, Castlegregory, Co Kerry||Kerry County Council||Wild Atlantic Way|
|Keel Facility Centre for Water Sports Activities||Keel Sandybanks, Achill Island, Co. Mayo||Mayo County Council||Wild Atlantic Way|
|Carrowmore Water Sports Facility Centre||Carrowmore Beach, Louisburgh, Co Mayo||Mayo County Council||Wild Atlantic Way|
Enniscrone , Co Sligo
|Sligo County Council||Wild Atlantic Way|
|Rosses Point PFG||Rosses Point, County Sligo||Sligo County Council||Wild Atlantic Way|