Dáil Éireann - Volume 539 - 26 June, 2001
Written Answers. - Grant Payments.
Mr. Fleming Mr. Fleming
382. Mr. Fleming asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation if he will list all grants payable for 1998, 1999 and 2000 in respect of capital costs towards swimming pools; the amount in each case; the grants represented as a percentage of the total cost of each project; where the information can be obtained; and the amount of the balance which was made up by the relevant local authorities or by each individual swimming pool committee through their own fund-raising efforts. [18589/01]
Dr. McDaid Dr. McDaid
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation (Dr. McDaid): I secured £45 million funding for an accelerated programme of investment over the three year period 2000-02 in the refurbishment and provision of new pools under the local authority swimming pool programme. The package effectively increased the annual budget from £3 million per annum to £15 million per year over these three years.
Prior to 1 January 2000 the Department provided capital grants of up to 80% of the cost of new swimming pools provided by local authorities, with the remainder 20% being financed by way of local contribution. In the case of refurbishment of existing pools the Department funded 100% of the approved costs of refurbishment works to existing facilities.
Under the current swimming pool programme grants of up to £3 million are available towards both the refurbishment of existing pools and the provision of new pools, subject in both cases to the total grant not exceeding 80% of the eligible cost of the project or, in the case of projects located in designated disadvantaged areas, 90%  of the eligible cost. There are four stages in the approval process for a swimming pool project and my Department gives consideration to progressing each proposal to the next stage, in the context of funding available.
Before submitting an application, or supporting an application from a voluntary group, the local authority have to be satisfied that the proposal is viable, and that the balance of funding required to complete the project is available. This includes 20% of eligible costs of the proposal, or 10% in the case of projects located in designated disadvantaged areas.
Eligible costs include the swimming pool, toddler pool, sauna and steam room. Ancillary accommodation which directly relates to the swimming pool is also eligible for support. Additional costs associated with these facilities must be borne by the local authorities or individual voluntary group. A total of 51 proposals were submitted to my Department by local authorities under this accelerated swimming pool programme by last year's closing date of 31 July 2000. Decisions have been made in the case of five proposals and the remaining 46 proposals are at various stages of the approval process. Twenty-six of these proposals relate to the construction of new or replacement pools while a further 20 relate to the refurbishment of existing pools. While no project has been completed to date under the 2000 programme the Deputy should be aware that under the local authority swimming pool programme new pools have been built already or are under construction at Ennis, Dundalk, Navan, Gorey/Courtown, Wicklow Town, Renmore and Enniscorthy. Refurbishments have been completed or are currently being undertaken in Arklow, Monaghan, Roscommon, Waterford, Tipperary, Newcastle West and Mullingar.
Dáil Éireann 539 Written Answers. Grant Payments.