Councillors presented with plans for George’s Dock ‘lido’Gary Ibbotson 20 Jan 2023
Dublin City Councillors have been presented with plans for a heated outdoor swimming pool at George’s Dock.
The plans, drafted by George’s Dock Lido Committee includes a 50-metre Olympic sized swimming pool but not a “swift water” training facility for emergency services.
In July, DCC announced plans for a public pool, or “lido”, with an emergency services training centre at the site.
This was instead of the controversial white-water rafting project which was shelved in 2021.
The local authority’s plan would cost an estimated €25 million with 60 percent used as a lido and 40 percent used a training centre for Dublin Fire Brigade.
However, the George’s Dock Lido Committee is looking to remove the training facility from the scheme so the site can be a used entirely as a public lido.
It would include an all-season Olympic sized pool, a smaller leaning pool, diving boards, saunas, water gardens with public seating, performance areas, a restaurant, and a café.
In a presentation to councillors last week, Patrick Earls, a spokesperson for the group said the training facility would not be suitable for the site.
“We feel it is trying to shoehorn too much into too little space to have the emergency service training centre there,” he says.
“It would hugely reduce the space available for public use and fails to grasp the importance of a once-off opportunity to contribute positively to the lives of Dubliners now and into the future.
“We acknowledge the importance of providing the emergency services with proper facilities but would suggest it should be a separate project and not incorporated into the George’s Dock lido.”
Earls says the group consulted with local residents on the idea and found that there was strong support for the lido.
“The support for this has been huge, it’s been like pushing an open door,” he says.
“There has been huge support among councillors, local TD’s, community members, local businesses, large corporations, swimming bodies, polo clubs, and Dubliners and citizens across the country.”
Several councillors welcomed the plans presented to them but Independent councillor Nial Ring said the project needs to be fleshed out more.
“I don’t want to throw cold water or even warm heated water on to this idea,” he said.
“I don’t think we’re pushing an open door here.
“The main failure on this is the absolute dearth of figures there’s absolutely no numbers how much this is going to cost.
“This lido thing has been floated for a long time and I’m not sure it is what is needed down there,” he said.
In response, Earls said similar facilities in the United Kingdom has cost between £15 million and £20 million.
He said there was potential for “revenue generating activities” such as renting out spaces to clubs for events.
Corporate membership for the surrounding docklands companies could also be used to subsidise community use, he said.
Lead architect of the plans, Chris Romer-Lee from Studio Octop said: “George’s Dock offers Dublin City Council the opportunity to provide a world class facility in a historic location.
“Because of the central location, the vision is for a facility that reaches everyone within Dublin and beyond, from school children to scuba divers, and triathletes to leisure swimmers.
“During the summer, special events could ensure increased access to the facility.”