Black rubber roof for new surf centre

Proposed new maritime centre in Strandhill

Sligo Champion

Designs have been revealed of the proposed new maritime centre in Strandhill. London architects Manalo & White have won the competition to design the new surfing and coastal community centre.

The building's upper floor and roof will be clad in black rubber and the full-height concrete panels of the perimeter walls will be etched with wild Celtic seascapes and surf scenes by legendary Donegal surfer and graphic artist Barry Britton. The centre will be run by the Strandhill Community Maritime Company Limited which was set up in July 2000 and comprises nine directors.

The board is made up of councillors, business people and surfing representatives from the Irish Surfing Association and the County Sligo Surf group. The site is approximately 4,500 square metres in size and will also include market stalls, retail space and seating areas. Pictured right are drawings by Manalo & White of the new centre.

Chairman of the Board of the Strandhill Maritime Company, Cllr Declan Bree said: "It is obvious that we now need a new modern facility to meet the needs of both surfers and the local community.

"It is in this context that our Board agreed in principle to support the sale of the existing Maritime Centre building and develop a new and larger centre more suitable to the needs of the area.

The existing Maritime Centre located on the promenade, houses first floor changing rooms and shower facilities in addition to a meeting space for the Surf Club and other local groups. We lease the enterprise space on the ground floor to the Voya Seaweed Baths. The proposed new Centre will front on to the promenade and will be located on a site a few hundred metres North of the existing building.

"Manalo & White architects have been successful in winning the architectural competition and I expect that we will be in a position to sign a contract with them shortly.

"We have already had a number of very useful public communication-consultative meetings in Strandhill so as to ensure that the community is updated on progress and also to ensure the board can hear at first hand any concerns that people may have. Our next public communication meeting is in Strandhill Community Park on Thursday 24th March at where we will present details of the proposed design of the new centre."

Mick McEnroe of the Maritime Company said a planning application should be ready by the end of April with building completed before next year's tourism season. It will cost around €500,000 to build and funding will be sought from Fáilte Ireland and Sligo LEADER, said Mr McEnroe.