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Pandemic pause allows Sea World to take refurbishment to the next level

NEW facilities will be available to the public at Lahinch Sea World when it reopens in 2022, after an ambitious regeneration project.
In a statement, the board of the amenity outlined how, thanks to a significant fundraising boost, it has now secured money for a new children’s learner pool and other enhancements as part of a total of investment of €5.8m.
The board has credited the pandemic with creating a “window of opportunity” to pursue every possible funding stream, enabling them to respond to the concerns that arose last year when it was feared that the children’s pool would have to be left out of the refurbishment project.
“The board of Lahinch Sea World are happy to be able to confirm that a new children’s learner pool will now be included in the redevelopment,” the statement said.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has left a devastating impact on our society and economy, but the closure of construction for the first four months of 2021, created a necessary window of opportunity for us to continue to explore every possible source of additional funding.
“In that regard, we have secured further very significant funding from two incredibly supportive philanthropic funds, an ongoing local fundraiser and Clare County Council supports.
“The local fundraiser is still open and anybody wishing to support the redevelopment should contact any of our board members.
“What started in 2018 as a €2m Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) application to address a decaying roof, has now with thanks to incredible efforts of countless individuals and agencies combined to deliver a complete refurbishment of the facility at a cost of circa €5.8m. This will ensure a sustainable facility for another generation.”
Lahinch Sea World closed at the end of 2019 for refurbishments on the centre which the board described as being in a “decaying” condition.
Thanks to the funding boost, Lahinch Sea World will also boast universally-accessible facilities, with toilets, changing facilities and pool hoist to support users with mobility challenges; a fully re-tiled 25m pool to gala competition standard, with accessibility hoist; a new front-facing landmark two-storey glazed structure, home to a new gym; a new jacuzzi, sauna and steam room; refurbished changing rooms, toilets and staff areas; and an A-rated renewable energy heating system.
“Seeing the cranes on site over the last number of weeks has been a great lift to all involved, the board said.
“We earnestly hope the Covid-19 recovery continues in the months ahead and with continued good luck we look forward to welcoming both familiar and new faces to Sea World in early 2022.”

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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