Waterford City & County Council is delighted to welcome the news that two seaside locations in Waterford have been approved under the Fáilte Ireland Platforms for Growth 2 – Facility Centres for Water Sports Activities funding scheme. The funding was announced earlier today by Minister Catherine Martin at the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and will see the delivery of world class Facility Centres for Water Sports in both Ardmore and Tramore. The facilities will provide secure changing facilities, hot showers and orientation space for activity providers will add to the overall tourism appeal of County Waterford.
The national funding scheme, to the value of €19million, will enable the development of a network of 22 Facility Centres for Water Sports across Ireland which will all align with an exemplar design commissioned by Fáilte Ireland. These Facility Centres will assist in highlighting the strength of the coastal and activity offering we have in Waterford, encouraging visitors to stay longer and enjoy water sports activities as part of their stay. The Facility Centres will also be of benefit to many locals who enjoy a variety of water sports and add to the outstanding quality of life offering in Waterford. Local water sport activity providers will benefit from and have access to the facilities in both Ardmore and Tramore and will be consulted with regard to the development of both facilities.
The Mayor of the City and County of Waterford, Councillor Damien Geoghegan, welcomed this funding announcement for Waterford saying “I am delighted that Waterford has attracted funding for two world class facilities in both Tramore and Ardmore locations. To have water sports facilities of such calibre in the East and West of the County will highlight our spectacular coastal offering and encourage visitors to explore the pristine Waterford coastline from new perspectives. It will be a brilliant amenity for locals too and will also provide opportunities for job creation.”
The Covid 19 pandemic has increased interest in holidays with a solid outdoor offering and Fáilte Ireland research has shown that visitors on activity holidays spend more and stay longer. Waterford is well known for its spectacular Waterford Greenway, the rugged Comeragh Mountains and its pristine coastline which includes five Blue Flag beaches and the impressive Copper Coast UNESCO Global Geopark. Waterford also has a network of almost 40 accredited walking and cycling trails across the county and St. Declan’s Way, a 100km pilgrim path from Ardmore to the Rock of Cashel, will be a unique addition to this list when it opens in the summer.
The new facility centres will make water sports more appealing and accessible for a longer season, combining with the existing outdoor proposition in the County to further increasing the profile of Waterford as an activity tourism destination.