The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on Ireland's sport and leisure sector. I regret that the necessary public health restrictions have presented serious challenges for the operators of sports and recreation facilities. These facilities are hugely valuable to communities throughout the country and play a major role in supporting people's health and well-being. I am pleased that in Level 3 of the Resilience and Recovery Plan, all gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools are permitted to open. I hope that they will continue to serve their communities through the winter months.
As part of the July Jobs Stimulus, I announced a special fund of €2.5 million to support the reopening of publicly accessible swimming pools in recognition of the particular challenges pool operators face in reopening to the public. This funding will be administered by Sport Ireland. A grant scheme is currently being drafted. Full details of the scheme and the application process will be announced shortly.