March 2013 saw the opening of the Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex - a new leisure centre at Valentine Playing Fields in Bangor.
The new leisure centre will encompass the following:
Sport Northern Ireland’s investment focused on the construction of a 50m swimming pool and the Performer Development Centre along with associated facilities and equipment.
The total project cost was £37.84m with Sport Northern Ireland and Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) grant contribution (towards the 50m pool and PDC element of the project) at £14.43m.
The 50m pool project was the flagship project under Sport Northern Ireland Elite Facilities Programme, a programme aimed at meeting demand for Olympic sports facilities and leaving a legacy for Northern Ireland post the 2012 Games. North Down Borough Council were selected as the preferred bidder for the 50m pool facility. The facility will provide state of the art sports facilities for the North Down local community and the whole of Northern Ireland, as well as training and strength and conditioning facilities for elite swimmers and athletes.
Many organisations have contributed to the development and success of the project, North Down Borough Council, their design team led by McAdam Design, Farrans Construction, and a vast range of subcontractors and specialists. Sport Northern Ireland has worked closely these organisations, along with CPD, Disability Sports Northern Ireland and Swim Ulster to administer the £14.43m grant award.
The technical specification for the Bangor Aurora 50m pool facilities were developed by SNI in conjunction with Swim Ulster. The 50m training pool has been designed to international FINA standards. The project incorporates flexibility of use for performance training, leisure use and minor competition, maximises use of natural light within activity areas, and is on track to receive a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. This is a first for a sports building in Northern Ireland.
The key objectives/outcomes are as follows: