BALBRIGGAN has been starved of decent community and indoor sports facilities for years but all that is about to change with a bumper year ahead in 2013 for the delivery of new recreation buildings in the town.
Cllr Ciaran Byrne (Lab) asked for a report on the delivery of community facilities in the town and was pleasantly surprised by the answer given to him by Fingal County Council. Three of the facilities due for delivery in 2013 are being provided through the innovative Fingal Schools Model which see Fingal acquire sites for schools for the Department of Education who in turn provide shared recreational facilities for the school and the wider community. According to the council: 'A shared facility comprising a range of meetings rooms, dance studios and a multi purpose hall at Flemington is due to be handed over to the Council in early November, 2012. Allowing for fit out of the facility it is hoped to have it open to the public in early 2013.' The local authority added: ' The Department of Education are preparing to go to tender shortly in relation to a post primary school and large shared facility at Castlelands Balbriggan which has a completion date of a year from now, in September, 2013. ' This facility will have all of the facilities that exist in Flemington but additionally will contain a gym and an outdoor floodlit artificial playing pitch.' And thirdly, the council explained: 'Also due to go to tender shortly is the construction of a sports hall and ancillary meeting rooms at Balbriggan Community College to which the Council is contributing, in order to make the facility available to the community. This hall should be available late 2013.' Apart from these three projects, the council added: 'The small community facility in Pinewood is due to be re-built following a fire and tenders will be invited in the next month or so. It would be the intention that this facility will be available early in 2013. 'The Council also recently applied for funding under the Government 2012 Sports Capital Programme for the provision of an All-Weather pitch at Bremore, Balbriggan.' Cllr Byrne welcomed the good news, saying: 'Many of these facilities have already gone to tender and are due for completion in early 2013. 'This a major step forward for families in the town and general area of Balbriggan and are associated in many cases with Fingal County Council's initiative with the Department of Education to develop in-school facilities for use by the community outside school hours.' Cllr Byrne had also asked for a skate park in the town but the council said there were no current plans to provide such a facility in the town.