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Council remains hopeful it will secure funding for white-water rafting project in Dublin as tender delayed until 2021

Covid-19′s knock-on effects mean the tender for the facility’s construction won’t be put out by the end of December as planned.

Image: DCC

THE SCHEME TO build the white-water rafting facility in Dublin may now face delays as the council won’t be putting its construction out to tender until next year, rather than the last months of 2020 as hoped.

A Dublin City Council spokesperson confirmed to TheJournal.ie that Covid-19 has “certainly effected our programme” when it comes to moving forward with the controversial project in the city’s docklands.

Furthermore, the council has said it remains hopeful it will secure all the funding needed for the facility prior to tendering the main contract early next year. 

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

It aimed to pacify those concerns by insisting 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. 

download (65) Visual of the amenity alongside the CHQ building at George's Dock. Source: DCC

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.

The grant application was made before a majority of two-thirds of councillors in Dublin City Council green lit the project at a meeting in December. The decision to refuse it was made in January 2020, a short time after the widespread debate on whether the project was appropriate. 

Concerns have been raised by councillors at the lack of secured funding for the project thus far. 

Fianna Fáil councillor Daithí de Roiste said: “If they are struggling to draw down grants and other people aren’t looking at this, and this was in a pre-Covid world… so in a post-Covid world we need to ask can we afford to be wasting money like that? I don’t think so.”

In July, a council spokesperson told TheJournal.ie that the advertisement of the main works contract will go out to tender in the final quarter of this year with construction beginning in 2021.

However, these timelines are now uncertain after the contracting being put out to tender has been delayed until next year. 

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A spokesperson said: “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.

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Sean Murray

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