A COLLABORATION with LeisureWorld Cork and Cork Sports Partnership has secured the immediate future of Baltimore’s Wild Atlantic Pool.
Baltimore Harbour Community Centre chairperson Sekeeta Crowley confirmed that funding from Cork Sports Partnership (CSP) through the Covid-19 ‘Return To Sport’ fund will put the facility back on its feet in terms of upgrading the facility and maintenance costs.
In addition to CSP’s financial support and expertise, Sekeeta said LeisureWorld Cork will enhance the facility on a number of operational levels, including assisting them with energy conservation and sustainability.
The Wild Atlantic Pool will also benefit from LeisureWorld Cork’s expertise by providing increased community programming and training, as well as educational opportunities for staff – all of which will lead to improved organisational efficiency.
While the amount of the funding being allocated to Baltimore has not been disclosed, Sekeeta indicated that the annual turnover of the not-for-profit amenity for 2022 was €260,000 – up €40,000 on pre-Covid figures.
The facility is very popular locally, especially among families, tourists and wild swimmers, and a recent pledge drive showed that the community was willing to back it financially.
It was the loss of use and earnings during the pandemic that took its toll on the amenity and the community volunteers.
Louise Burke, Sport Ireland’s director of participation, said they are fully committed to supporting the sports sector to return to full capacity following the pandemic.
The directors and committee of the community centre acknowledged the huge efforts by the community and staff over the last 14 years to keep the centre open.
‘Together, we have managed to keep the business going over the last three difficult years,’ said Sekeeta.
She said the additional support would also enable the development of the facilities.
While the support received will offset some of the initial costs of urgent upgrades, Sekeeta said fundraising efforts will continue to safeguard the future of the facility for generations to come.
LeisureWorld Cork runs three swimming complexes in the city – in Bishopstown, Churchfield and Douglas, as well as Mahon Golf Course. The first complex, at Bishopstown, was established by Cork City Council in 1997.