Construction of leisure centre set to start in June
The long awaited development of the Mitchelstown Leisure Centre in the Canon's Field will begin in just two months and it is expected to be open by summer 2014.
The Avondhu has learned that the outcome of the tender process will be known by the middle of this month and the contractor is expected to be on site and starting construction by June.
It was also confirmed this week, that the Government has given sanction to Ballyhoura Development Ltd to grant funding of €500,000 to the leisure centre under the Rural Development Programme.
Chairman of the Leisure Group, Ben Lynch told The Avondhu that an awful lot of work and expertise has gone into the leisure centre and he hopes that people will be very happy with the finished product.
"I’m very glad we have a top class team of professionals managing this phase of the development. The level of detail and expertise required is way beyond the capacity of any voluntary community organisation and the time and effort it has taken to get to this stage is far greater than we had expected. But, all the tender prices will be back in a few weeks and after that, everyone in Mitchelstown will be able to see tangible progress being made," Ben said.
He added that the tender price will dictate whether or not any facilities have to be deferred for the moment, as he stressed that they will only build what they can afford and they will not incur borrowings.
This week, Circus Gerbola will be using the Canon's Field site for the circus, but Ben said that while the site was used for other purposes in past years, he is confident that this is the last time that the circus will be in the Canon's Field.
"I’d be confident there will be no more circuses in the Canon’s Field. We’ve always viewed the Canon’s Field as a location for the Leisure Centre. However, it is also a community amenity and both adults and children have gained enjoyment from the occasional use by the circus fraternity. And to be fair, they in turn have always respected the amenity and have never caused us any problems," Ben concluded.
In welcoming the funding for the project, Deputy Tom Barry thanked Ministers Hogan and Ring for their positive reaction to the project and noted that, even in times of austerity, 'the Government is committed to delivering projects which will improve people's quality of life and provide valuable resources for local communities'.
Junior Minister Sean Sherlock also welcomed the news, saying that this funding will ensure that the multi purpose and community elements of the project can be completed.
"This will enhance the overall facilities that can be offered through the leisure centre. Coupled with the Sports Capital Funding, which was also approved for the project, the announcement this week reflects the Government's desire to ensure that communities such as Mitchelstown are enabled to advance," he said.
Thursday 2nd May 6:25pm