Written Answers. - Swimming Pool Projects.

Phil Hogan

Question:

198 Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the progress being made in respect of a new swimming pool for Kilkenny city; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15274/02]

Under the local authority swimming pool programme, 2000-02, which is administered by my Department, there are four stages in a swimming pool project following the submission of a feasibility study. These, in order of progress, are: preliminary report; contract documents; tender and construction. My Department's technical advisers, the Office of Public Works, evaluate each stage and local authorities cannot proceed to the next stage of a project unless prior approval issues from my Department. Grant aid is allocated only when tenders have been received for the project and will be capped at the time of allocation.

There are 46 applications in hand in the current swimming pool programme and these applications are at various stages of progress. The funding for the current swimming pool programme is a combined total of €57.15 million for the years 2000, 2001 and 2002.

Following the completion of a feasibility study on swimming pool provision in Kilkenny, Kilkenny Borough Corporation decided to construct a new pool rather than refurbish the existing pool. My Department approved the appointment of consultants for the preliminary report stage of this proposal in July 2000. In view of the time which has elapsed and to enable the Department to consider its priorities under the programme my Department has recently written to the corporation seeking an update on the position.