Surf centre plan gets €1m funding
There has been broad welcome for a €1.042 grant from Bord Failte for the proposed National Surf Centre of Excellence in Strandhill.
Sligo County Council has been notified by Fáilte Ireland of capital grant for the development.
The Chairman of the Strandhill Maritime Board, Cllr Declan Bree, said the grant would allow for the project to proceed as planned and provide for the construction of a state of the art new national Surf Centre in Strandhill which will include facilities for the local community.
"Strandhill has gained an international reputation as a surfing destination and in this context it was clear that a new and modern facility was required.
"The construction of the existing Maritime Centre back in 2001 marked a significant milestone and was a testament to the vision and commitment of the surfing community and the people of the Strandhill community who worked with the County Council and other agencies to ensure its success.
"However, with the growth of interest and increased participation in surfing, additional facilities were needed and a new and larger building required.
"Recognising this need the Board of the Maritime Company decided to seek support for the development of a new National Surf Centre in Strandhill.
"There has been extensive consultation with users and the local community and I wish to acknowledge the overwhelming support we have received for the project from all sectors of the Strandhill community.
"The new centre will be a significant facility for the people of Strandhill and the surf coast on the Wild Atlantic Way and will certainly attract increasing numbers of visitors to the region," Cllr Bree said.
He paid tribute to his colleagues on the Board of the Maritime Centre and in particular, secretary Mick McEnroe, for his "exceptional contribution to the development of the Maritime Centre".
"Mick has been to the forefront in advancing this project and I have to say that Strandhill is fortunate to have a person of such ability and energy willing to give so much of his time to the community."
Councillor Chris MacManus has welcomed the news saying Strandhill was the largest village in the county with no dedicated community facility. "This will be a flagship facility along the Wild Atlantic Way," he said.
The €1.3 million development is to be situated at the 'Four Winds' site down at the village front with the Council approved for €1.042m Fáilte Ireland funding.
Councillor MacManus said: "I'm delighted to receive confirmation that the application for substantial funding to provide this much needed surf centre of excellence at the promenade of Strandhil has finally been approved.
"For too long the community has watched as the village has grown but with no dedicated surf facility.
"This wonderful news however will enhance the tourism potential for the area as a key piece of infrastructure along the Wild Atlantic Way.
"I want to compliment the Strandhill Development Association, the Maritime Centre, Voya and the surfing fraternity for working positively to get the project to this stage.
"I had consistently sought for Sligo County Council to take the role of lead agency in this process, as only the Council has the resources and ability to drive forward a project of this stature.
"A couple of months ago the Council agreed to this and were thus able to submit an application. Failte Ireland has backed this approach and recognise the potential within the Strandhill community to provide a unique experience for locals and visitors alike," he said.