Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has warmly welcomed the announcement that €19 million will be invested nationally to develop 22 state-of-the-art facilities for outdoor water-based activities, which will include centre’s for Tramore & Ardmore.
Senator Cummins said “We have seen a significant increase in people enjoying outdoor water-based activities such as kayaking, surfing, paddle-boarding and open water swimming in recent years and I have no doubt this trend will continue to grow in the time ahead. With this in mind it is essential that the public have access to all-weather changing facilities, secure storage and bathrooms at beaches and inland water spots.
To meet this demand Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin and Fáilte Ireland are today announcing a major new investment worth €19million. The funding will be used to build world-class facility centres at 22 locations across the country where water-based activities are a key visitor attraction. Senator John Cummins confirmed that “this investment will include the development of facilities close to the Promenade in Tramore and at the Public Car Park, Cois Tra, Ardmore”.
He said “I am confident this will allow for the expansion of what are already well established locations for water based activities. Each centre will provide hot showers, changing and toilet facilities, secure storage, induction spaces, equipment washdown and orientation points. They will be fully wheelchair accessible and built using sustainable materials such as solar heating panels to meet ‘Nearly Zero Energy Building Standards’ and are expected to be in place for summer 2022.
This investment scheme, developed in partnership between Fáilte Ireland and Local Authorities, will support the local economy and the outdoor activity sector by significantly enhancing the overall visitor experience, providing new business opportunities in local communities and allowing for the extension of the tourism season beyond the traditional summer months. Speaking following the announcement Senator Cummins said “the scale of the investment announced today with Fáilte Ireland will have a key role in Ireland’s recovery. It will support the local economy and the outdoor water-based activity sector by significantly improving the overall visitor experience,
This Government investment is in response to what we have witnessed over the last year or more with a huge increase in people enjoying the outdoors and water sports and will be of great benefit to the industry which has been damaged due to Covid-19 and will assist in providing new business and job opportunities in local communities such as Tramore and Ardmore.“
Speaking at the official launch of the €19million investment, Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin T.D. today said: “Ireland is world-class when it comes to providing water-based activities which are enjoyed by local communities and visitors along our stunning coastline, rivers and lakes. We’ve seen a significant upward trend in people enjoying outdoor water activities over the last year and we know the appeal of the outdoors will continue to grow post-COVID19 so we must ensure the Irish experience meets and exceeds visitor expectations.”
Also speaking at the announcement CEO Fáilte Ireland Paul Kelly said “this investment scheme will not only strengthen our appeal as a country with strong outdoor water-based activities and facilities, it will also create new opportunities for activity operators that will benefit local jobs and businesses while helping to spread visitors across the regions. Today’s announcement outlines Phase 1 of this scheme, which has an expected completion date of Summer 2022. We expect to announce a second phase next year.”
Senator Cummins concluded by saying “I look forward to working with Waterford Council to deliver these centres which will increase Waterford’s national and international appeal. In providing a best-in-class activity destination, it is critical that we invest in building a sustainable activity infrastructure, compelling visitor experiences and developing the capacity of activity providers.”