Surf’s up for centre of excellence in Sligo as tender issued

The country’s first surfing centre of excellence could be up and running next year after a tender was issued for its construction in Sligo. The Government announced in November 2018 that the new national surf centre would be located in Strandhill and would be a key centre for visitors looking to capitalise on some of Europe’s best waves while touring along the Atlantic Economic Corridor.

The National Surf Centre of Excellence would also feature an interpretive experience that would tell the story of surfing in Sligo and along the Atlantic coast, an area that, pre-Covid-19, had become increasingly popular with domestic and international surfers.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced funding of over €1m from Fáilte Ireland to Sligo County Council for the venture on Strandhill promenade.

“The site is an existing ‘brownfield site and includes an existing single storey ‘domestic’ building and associated structures to the rear. The site is owned by Sligo County Council. The existing buildings and structures are to be demolished as part of the contracted works. The site also includes the existing peace park and renewal of same also forms part of the contracted works.

“The works involve the construction of a new two-storey comprising a state-of-the-art modern national surf centre over two floors with associated siteworks. Works to include demolition of existing buildings and outbuildings to the rear of the existing building, the construction of a new two surf centre and associated site development works.”

The Surf Centre project was also awarded €615,000 from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund in 2018 and at the time, the Taoiseach said: “Strandhill is already a very popular destination thanks to its wonderful location, great beaches and of course its secret weapon, the waves that have become so popular with locals and visitors alike.

“I am delighted to be announcing this significant funding for the development of the new Strandhill Surf Centre, which I have no doubt will make this coastal town even more popular in the years ahead.”

Story by Noel barker for The Irish Examiner.

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