Tramore Beach, County Waterford
Waterford City and County Council is delighted to welcome the news that two seaside locations in Waterford have been approved under the Fáilte Ireland Platforms for Growth 2 - Facility Centres for Water Sports Activities funding scheme.
The funding was announced by Minister Catherine Martin at the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and will see the delivery of world class facility centres for water sports in both Ardmore and Tramore.
It forms part of a national funding scheme to the value of €19million, which will enable the development of a network of 22 facility centres for water sports across Ireland that will all align with an exemplar design commissioned by Fáilte Ireland.
The facilities will provide secure changing facilities, hot showers and orientation space for activity providers, and will add to the overall tourism appeal of County Waterford.
They will assist in highlighting the strength of the coastal and activity offering in Waterford, encouraging visitors to stay longer and enjoy water sports activities as part of their stay.
The facility centres will also be of benefit to many locals who enjoy a variety of water sports, and will add to the outstanding quality of life offering in Waterford.
Local water sport activity providers will benefit from and have access to the facilities in both Ardmore and Tramore and will be consulted with regard to the development of both facilities.
The Mayor of the City and County of Waterford, Councillor Damien Geoghegan, has welcomed this funding announcement for Waterford. I am delighted that Waterford has attracted funding for two world-class facilities in both Tramore and Ardmore locations," he said.
"To have water sports facilities of such calibre in the east and west of the county will highlight our spectacular coastal offering and encourage visitors to explore the pristine Waterford coastline from new perspectives. It will be a brilliant amenity for locals too and will also provide opportunities for job creation.”
Ardmore Beach, County Waterford
Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has warmly welcomed the announcement, highlighting that there has been a significant increase in people enjoying outdoor water-based activities such as kayaking, surfing, paddle-boarding and open water swimming in recent years.
"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," 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," the Waterford Senator added.
Deputy Marc Ó Cathasaigh said of the very few positives that have come out of the pandemic is the sense of reconnection with our local areas.
"We all got to know our 5km very well," the Green Party TD said.
"Tramore and Ardmore beaches have provided a lifeline for so many people during the restrictions in terms of their mental and physical health. These ew facilities will build on our appreciation of our local areas, support our local economy and the outdoor activity sector, and will result in new opportunities for these towns.
"They will also contribute to an extension of the tourism season beyond the traditional summer months, which will benefit Irish people holidaying at home in the short-term but our overall tourism market long-term. They will play a key role in our post-Covid recovery and allow us to capitalise on the wonderful natural resource we have along the Waterford coast," he added.