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. 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.
The funding will be distributed to swimming pools through an open and transparent application process administered by Ireland Active (the association for leisure, health and fitness in Ireland). Sport Ireland expects applications to open shortly for the fund with a three week window for applications to be submitted. Ireland Active will run workshops throughout this process to assist potential applicants. A Steering Group of Sport Ireland, Swim Ireland and Ireland Active has been established to oversee, assess and monitor the process.
It is expected, at this point, to communicate the outcome of the process in early December. This is dependent on the volume of applications received.