DESPITE widespread local opposition, the closure of Askeaton Pool and Leisure Complex will go ahead from next Thursday, March 16 to facilitate energy upgrades and plant room refurbishments.
In a joint statement, the Board of the leisure centre along with its shareholders, Limerick City and County Council and Askeaton Swimming Club, emphasised that they are fully committed to its reopening as soon as possible.
“Despite best efforts and engagement with all key stakeholders it has not been possible to maintain a limited operation of the Centre on a temporary basis until the capital works get underway,” the statement added.
“The current operator, Coral Leisure were not in a position to provide this service and an alternative operator could not be secured.
“The Board and its shareholders are committed to making sure the health and safety of all users are maintained at all times. This requires maintaining water quality, life guarding and most importantly, child protection and welfare. To facilitate this, sufficient time would be required to acquire the services of an appropriate alternative operator through a public procurement process.
“The Centre has not been financially viable for some time and has been hit with escalated heating and lighting costs in recent months. There has also been a reduction in income from membership due to the uncertainty caused by the pending closure.
“We are committed to a full reopening of the Centre, which will be more financially viable when the capital works and energy efficiency upgrades are completed to secure its future operation.
“This project will now go to tender and Limerick Twenty Thirty DAC has been asked to assist with a tendering process and to use their expertise in capital works delivery.
“It is a key priority of the Board of Askeaton Pool and Leisure DAC, Limerick City and County Council and Askeaton Swimming Club to commence and complete the capital works as soon as possible.
“The Board and its shareholders acknowledge the disruption this will cause but are confident that the plan of action is necessary for the future use of the complex,” the statement concluded.