Council to fork out on Forum

THE proposed redevelopment of the Fermanagh Lakeland Forum will be the Council’s ‘biggest capital spend’ ever as well as being the first leisure centre building in Ireland to use Passive House design standards.

A significant milestone was reached this week when the planning application was submitted for the redevelopment. Plans to transform the popular Enniskillen facility into a state-of-the-art leisure, health and wellbeing hub were also made available in the Pre-Application Community Consultation Report.

The overall redevelopment project will be subject to final Council approval pending the outcome of the Full Business Case, but if successful it will come at a price.


“If it all gets the green light, it will be the biggest capital spend on record that the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has ever undertaken,” Cllr Roy Crawford explained. “Things will happen fairly quickly after that. You’ll possibly be looking at three years to get everything fully completed.”

The total cost of the planned redevelopment has not been revealed, but in January of this year, the Council was successful in an application for £20 million from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Funding towards the project. However, this will only fund part of the overall price.

Designed to Passive House standards – a design that maximises the use of ‘natural’ sources of heating, cooling and ventilation while reducing the building’s ecological footprint – like South West College in Enniskillen, the proposed development further promotes the Council’s sustainability ambitions.

“It’ll be the first Passive [House] leisure centre building in Ireland and will be based on the same [architectural] model as the award-winning South West College in Enniskillen,” Cllr Crawford said.

“We will be looking to build on what the South West College has achieved [architecturally] and take it forward.

“Sustainability and renewable energy will be a huge factor for the redevelopment of the Lakeland Forum and its facilities.”

Concerns were raised by the public in the Pre-Application Community Consultation Report about the “loss of facility provision during the redevelopment” of the local leisure centre, but Cllr Crawford believed in looking at the bigger picture.


“All redevelopment comes at some inconvenience, but there will be ongoing provisions made such as the Share Centre that can provide early learning swimming [lessons] and accommodate regular swimmers,” he explained.

“We are fortunate in Fermanagh to have facilities like the Castle Park Centre and Bawnacre Centre that can be used by the public. There are also private gyms and leisure clubs for those with disposable incomes.

“We’re very lucky that we have other options available. People will need to be flexible and patient, but it will be short-term pain for long-term gain.”

The planning application, Reference Number LA10/2023/1866/F, can be viewed on the Northern Ireland Planning Portal website (

For more information on the proposed redevelopment, telephone 0300 303 1777 to speak to a member of the Wellbeing and Culture Service; visit or email

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