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Council looks to gauge interest for 'flagship' white-water rafting facility in Dublin city centre

Dublin City Council last year faced much criticism over the €22.8 million bill for the project.

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL is looking to gauge interest from potential contractors for a €22 million “flagship” white-water rafting facility in Dublin, which has been the subject of considerable backlash.

The Council has issued an ‘expression of interest’ document for a potential contractor to build the facility which will include a white-water rafting course, swift-water rescue training facility and a kayaking and canoe polo pool area at George’s Dock on the River Liffey. 

The scheme was delayed last year with the onset of the pandemic. The council faced much criticism over the €22.8 million bill for the project, coming in the midst of a housing and homelessness crisis.

The Council aims to create a central island with a canoe polo pool including a kayak and canoe conveyor, pumping station, swift-water rescue training centre and a “floodable urban street,” according to a document released today.

The final contractor will also be expected to carry out conservation work to the existing dock and works to include a new mechanical structure to operate the facility. 

“The successful tenderer will be required to demonstrate a high degree of environmental awareness. This project will be a flagship project for the roll out by DCC of environmental design best practice regarding climate change matters.

“Contractors must note their enthusiastic participation in this initiative is required,” the Council has said. 

The deadline for submissions to express interest in the project is 22 February. It is expected that a full tender for construction will then be issued by the Council in the coming months. 

The Council has said the project remains subject to funding. 

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download (42) Visual of the amenity alongside the CHQ building at George's Dock. Source: DCC

Amid concerns expressed last year by local representatives, the Council said that more than half of funding for the project – €13 million – would be covered through Government grants, with a further €4.9 million covered through development levies, and another €4 million coming from capital reserves. 

However, TheJournal.ie previously learned that a €6.6 million grant application was refused by the government.

The application to the Large Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF) “did not score highly enough” according to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport which administers the scheme.

A Council spokesperson told TheJournal.ie last October: “We do not expect to publish tender documents for the main contract in 2020.  It is hoped that the construction contract will be advertised on eTenders in Q1 2021.

Discussions are ongoing with funding bodies but it is hoped that all necessary external funding for the project will be confirmed prior to tendering for the main contract.
Covid-19 has certainly effected our programme for getting the project to tender stage due to challenges with remote working for the Multi-disciplinary Design Team.
With reporting by Sean Murray

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