Tuesday, 15 December 2009

50 metre swimming pool

This afternoon I visited the site of the new 50 metre swimming pool project at Valentine's Playing Fields in Bangor.  The pool is part of a larger leisure complex development being undertaken by North Down borough council at an overall cost of around £42m.  My department, through sport NI, is providing £15m towards the capital costs of the the pool.  This will be the first 50 metre pool in Northern Ireland and the project is due for completion early in 2012.

This project marks the first phase of a Major Facilities Development programme.  As a regional centre of excellence this complex will be a state-of-the-art facility to be enjoyed by all the people of Northern Ireland.

We visited the site of the project and then travelled the short distance to the Town Hall, where council officials gave me a presentation about the project.


  1. There should be a bronze statue there of "Andy" Johnson, the patient and kindly mentor for generations of youth at Pickie Pool.

  2. Angela - I presume you are the same Angela who commented on the picture of George McWhirter and it seems that you are also from Northern Ireland. Although I grew up in Belfast I learned to swim at Pickie Pool many years ago. However I was only an occasional user of the pool and I cannot remember 'Andy' Johnson. I will enquire about 'Andy' Johnson but would be grateful for any additional information you can provide about him. The new facility will be the premer pool in Northern Ireland and it would be good to have some way of remembering those who have made some special contribution to swimming in the province.