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New Infrastructure Fund Could Rekindle Ambitions For Dun Laoghaire As National Watersport Hub

21st November 2018
Dun Laoghaire Harbour Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Peter Barrow

Ambitions for a National Watersport Centre in Dun Laoghaire could be revived following the launch of a new State fund supporting infrastructure for multi-sports projects.

Applications are now being invited for the the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund, launched by Ministers Shane Ross and Brendan Griffin this week.

The scheme is initially open to applications from national governing bodies (NGBs) and local authorities (LAs) and will consist of two streams.

Stream one, which is aimed at smaller NGBs and LAs, will help fund the development of proposals to tender stage. Stream two will assist applicants to bring projects from tender stage to completion.

The scheme encourages multi-functional sports facilities that will serve more than one sport — which is in line with previous proposals to make Dun Laoghaire a national hub for sailing, kayaking, rowing and more.

Sharing between sports, NGBs and LAs is encouraged and such projects will be viewed more favourably by the fund. The scheme will also require a minimum contribution of 30% from applicants toward the cost of any works/design.

The new fund is separate and distinct from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport’s long-running Sports Capital Programme (SCP), which is focused on smaller capital projects where the maximum grant is €150,000.

The full terms and conditions of the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund and application forms can be found HERE.

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National Watersports Campus

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Stakeholders combined forces in 2019 to promote a project to improve the Harbour’s infrastructure resulting in improved access, job creation and greater tourism potential. 

A grant application to government made by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLRCoCo) assisted by stakeholders was successful with the announcement of a €400k feasibility study grant from the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF) in January 2020.

It meant plans for the €8m National Watersports Campus at Dun Laoghaire Harbour got the green light from Government and came a step closer to reality.

The project recognises deficits in the current set up in the harbour, proposing the construction of an all-tide publicly-accessible slipway (none currently in the Greater Dublin Area) as well as a marine services facility, providing a much-needed home for the supporting industry. 

The campus also seeks to provide a marketing framework to make boating more accessible to the general public.

The benefits of such an increase might be obvious for the Dun Laoghaire waterfront but there are other spin-offs for the harbour town in the creation of the sort of jobs that cannot be shipped abroad.

Centre for Community Watersports activity and public slipway

  • High-Performance coaching centre
  • Flexible Event Space for hosting national and international events
  • Multipurpose Building
  • Campus Marketing and Promotional Centre
  • Accommodation for Irish Sailing and Irish Underwater Council
  • Shared NGB Facility
  • Education Centre for schools, community groups and clubs
  • Proposed site – Carlisle Pier

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