THE LAKELAND Forum’s redevelopment has been handed a massive boost with millions to be poured in by the Government.
As part of the UK Government’s ‘levelling up’ programme, 10 projects – including the Enniskillen-based leisure centre – will be getting a share of a £71 million pot.
The Lakeland Forum’s cut is believed to be more than £20 million and the new centre will provide a wide range of indoor and outdoor leisure and recreation facilities.
Fermanagh & South Tyrone MLA, Tom Elliott welcomed the news saying: “This is great opportunity to help enhance the local area by offering a high-quality attraction for both tourists and local communities.
“I welcome this announcement and look forward to the redeveloped of the Lakeland Forum. Well done to Fermanagh and Omagh District council for putting forward this ambitious project.”
However, Elliott expressed hope that the funding would not result in an increase in rates.
He added: “Hopefully with this level of funding, there will be very little financial burden on the local ratepayers and not necessitate a rates increase this year on the public of the area in these very difficult times of financial stress on families, including the increased cost of living.”
In response to Elliott’s concern, a Fermanagh & Omagh District Council spokeswoman said: “The £20 million received through the Levelling Up Fund is specifically for the capital redevelopment of the Fermanagh Lakeland Forum and surrounding area at Broadmeadow.
“This funding does not impact on the revenue funds required for the delivery of Council services or the Rates Setting process for 2023/24.”
Late last year, the Council launched a public consultation regarding the proposed redevelopment of the Forum.
Although the full results of that are not yet available, the spokeswoman stated that there had been a hugely positive response.
She added: “The public consultation for the redevelopment of the Fermanagh Lakeland Forum, closed on Monday, December 19, 2022.
“Almost 400 responses were received to the consultation, and the results are currently being analysed.
“Initial indications are that the vast majority of respondents were in agreement with the proposed redevelopment, and expressed the view that the investment would be welcomed and was needed in the Fermanagh area to enhance health and wellbeing.
“The full results of the consultation, when completed, will help inform the business case which is currently being prepared.”
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