BALLYBUNION Health and Leisure Centre has been approved grant aid of almost €165,000 for the installation of a Combined Heat & Power Plant (CHP) that management say is vital to the future viability of the centre.
After a meeting with directors two weeks ago, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring made the announcement on Thursday, adding that the facility will be a success with the support of the local community:
Minister Ring told the group that he was hugely impressed with the facilities and understood the importance of securing the grant aid. However, because 10 per cent of the cost of the new heating system needs to be raised by management, local involvement is vital, he said.
Centre manager, Padraig Hanrahan, said that the grant aid would be hugely important to the future viability of the centre, as the power plant would save the company between €50,00 and €60,000 a year.
Sports Minister Jimmy Deenihan reiterated the need for local support to make the centre a success.
"I've been involved in the Ballybunion Swimming Pool project from the beginning and one of the main reasons why it was approved for Ballybunion was that support for the project was promised from the community and from schools," he said. "The pool is a wonderful facility for young and old alike, and in order for it to be a success it needs the support of the local community. I hope that the Ballybunion community will really get the most out of the pool and leisure centre.
The centre was closed for 10 weeks earlier this year after the power supply was suddenly cut off over arrears. It was reopened after an emergency injection of funds by locals and the Ballybunion business community.