Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has previewed the North’s first 50 metre pool which opens to the public on Saturday 23 March 2013.
Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) provided £14.4million of financial support towards the development of the pool, which is part of the new Bangor Aurora leisure complex.

It comprises of a ten-lane pool, a diving pool and associated changing and spectator facilities. The 50m pool has been designed to international FINA (world governing body for aquatic sports) standards. The project incorporates flexibility of use for performance training, leisure use and minor competition, and maximises use of natural light within activity areas.

The Minister said: “This is a landmark project which has been built with the significant funding and assistance from the Executive through the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure. I have watched with interest as work has continued and I am pleased today to be visiting a facility that is hugely impressive both inside and out and will be accessible to the whole community.”

“This is a place where the athletes of today and tomorrow will train and compete. Where champions will be inspired to give their all and nurtured to achieve their potential. But everyone, from elite competitors to the occasional swimmer, will be able to use and enjoy this facility. This pool belongs to all of us.”

The pool incorporates flexibility of use for performance training, leisure and minor competition. As well as demonstrations from elite swimmers, the Minister saw how the facility can be divided to accommodate smaller groups, with schoolchildren using 25m sections and a diving display.

The Minister continued: “I welcome this opportunity to see first-hand the excellent facilities and in particular the 50 metre pool area.

“This pool is a magnificent example of a flagship sports project, and a credit to all those involved at North Down Borough Council, Farran Construction, McAdam Design, Sport Northern Ireland and Swim Ulster.

“There is, quite rightly, a real sense of pride and excitement around this impressive addition to our sporting infrastructure. Now, as we prepare to hand it over to the public, I urge everyone to make use of this superb facility.”

Notes to editors:

1. The Pool element of the Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex comprises: a 50 metre x 25 metre x 2 metre, ten-lane pool (with two submersible booms and two moving floors); a diving pool (with moving floor) with 5 metre, 3 metre and 1 metre boards; and associated changing and spectator facilities. Bangor Aurora will be home to Swim Ulster, who will have offices next to the 50m Pool.

2. The larger Complex includes: an eight court sports hall, a fitness suite; two exercise studios; a Performer Development Centre (PDC) for high performance strength and conditioning for swimmers/other athletes; a leisure water area; children’s soft adventure play area; 3G floodlit pitch; four grass football pitches; and associated changing, crèche, parking, storage and office facilities.

3. The pool is assigned to be a venue for the World Police and Fire Games, which will take place 1-10 August 2013.