Wicklow People

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Wicklow People

Frustration at no funding for pool

The Community Pool for West Wicklow campaign group has expressed it 'disappointment' after missing out on Stream 1 funding under the Large Scale Sports and Infrastructure Fund.

Only seven projects nationally received funding, and three of those were in Dublin.

Baltinglass remains the only Municipal District in the county without a swimming pool. Deirdre McCormack is the figure-head behind the campaign and admits she was disappointed to see west Wicklow miss out on funding again.

'It's a setback but it's by no means a dead end,' said Deirdre.

'It's very disappointing and a little frustrating but there are other grants to apply for. The swimming pool in Wicklow town was awarded €864,177 in stream 2 funding to refurbish and upgrade the swimming pool facilities and improve building accessibility for wheelchair access. That's great for them and it is wonderful that the Department is investing in swimming pools and making them more accessible for all. I am delighted for them but the fact is you still can't go swimming in west Wicklow.'

Wicklow County Council made the application for Stream 1 funding on behalf of Community Pool for West Wicklow to carry out an in-depth feasibility study to confirm the site for the swimming pool and to commission specialist architect drawings. In August of last year, Health Minister Simon Harris also promised the deliverance of a pool within two years.

The failure to secure any Stream 1 funding was also raised at Monday's meeting of Wicklow County Council.

Speaking at that meeting, Cllr Jennifer Whitmore addressed Chief Executive Frank Curran and said: 'It's very disappointing that west Wicklow wasn't involved in the recently announced funding. The support of Wicklow County Council is needed in moving forward with this. Site identification is something the committee are very keen to progress.'

Cllr John Mullen said: 'It was very disappointing that the campaign for a pool for west Wicklow received no funding, especially considering the promises that were made.'

Mr Curran said he would sit down with the officials from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport to determine why the application wasn't successful, before making a new application.

Meanwhile the campaign for a swimming pool continues to gather pace, with €15,500 already raised out of a target of €2 million, with fundraising only starting in August 2019.

Deirdre added: 'Not getting any funding was disappointing but we need to be realistic. We don't know who our next five TD's for Wicklow are going to be. It would certainly help if they all met us together rather than having to meet them individually, where they tend to spend more time giving out about each other than anything else. I'm also not someone to forget when a promise is made. If someone gives me a promise, then I will make sure they deliver on that promise.'

Wicklow People