Thursday, 5 April 2007

Ceisteanna (311, 312, 313)

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

306 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the position in regard to the funding for the proposed swimming pool at Leixlip, County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13858/07]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

308 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the position in regard to the provision of the proposed new swimming pool at Leixlip, County Kildare; the full extent of the funding available; the level of agreement reached in regard to the provision of this facility; when he expects the project to be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13871/07]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 306 and 308 together.

Public swimming pools are funded under the Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme which is administered by my Department. The current round of the programme was closed to applications on 31 July 2000 and no application was made in respect of a public swimming pool for Leixlip before that date.

My Department is completing an Expenditure Review of the Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme at present. The Review is examining, among other things, how the programme has worked to date and what changes, if any, are required to ensure its effective and efficient delivery. The Review is currently being finalised and it is my intention to publish it as soon as possible. Following consideration of the recommendations in the review it is my intention to launch a new round of the Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme. When the programme is re-opened, it will be open to all local authorities including Kildare County Council on behalf of Leixlip, to submit applications under the terms that will apply.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

307 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the number of local swimming pools expected to be funded by his Department in 2007; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13864/07]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Funding is provided by my Department to local authorities towards the capital costs of a new or replacement public swimming pool or the refurbishment of an existing pool under the terms of the Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme. This Programme is funded from Subhead C2 of my Department's Vote, where the provision for 2007 is €25m. The Programme provides for a maximum grant of €3.8million and there are four stages in the development of a swimming pool project. These are, in order of progress, Feasibility Study/ Preliminary Report; Contract Documents; Tender and Construction. Grant aid is formally allocated when the tender for the project is approved.

The current round of the Programme closed to applicants on 31 July 2000. Of the 57 projects within the current round, 41 projects have been approved grant aid, of which 23 have been funded and completed. The remaining 18 projects that are under construction or due to start construction shortly will continue to draw down their grant allocation in during 2007 and beyond. 3 projects are out to tender and are likely to seek formal grant approval in 2007. The remaining 13 projects are at earlier stages in the approval process of the programme.

The drawdown of moneys under the programme depends on the speed at which local authorities press ahead with projects and submit grant drawdown claims.

Question No. 308 answered with QuestionNo. 306.