Construction of the €23 million white-water rafting facility at George's Dock is expected to begin before the end of next year, Dublin City Council has said.
The proposed facility is forecast to break even by the end of its second year of operation, according to a business case prepared by Peter Brett Associates on behalf of Dublin City Council. By year five, it is predicted the net surplus will be more than €789,000. It is understood such figures do not include the capital costs.
It forecasts that more than €484,000 will be taken in revenue in year one, reaching more than €1.6 million by year five.
The report says it expects to attract more than 11,000 visitors in the first year, growing to more than 37,000 by year five, in addition to five “competition venue hires” each year.
The tender process will take a number of months, but we would hope to be on site by Q3 2020
The business case also outlines a pricing structure, using a Cardiff facility as a comparator. Group water rafting for eight persons and one instructor would work out at €400 per raft or €50 per person. Family white-water rafting for six persons and one instructor would total €150 per raft.
The council said the next phase of the project is detailed design and working drawings for the procurement of contractors for construction.
“The tender process will take a number of months, but we would hope to be on site by Q3 (quarter three) 2020 to commence construction,” a council spokeswoman said.
The council has confirmed that to date more than €560,000 has been spent on the project. The plans involve converting the 19th-century dock into a mechanically-propelled rafting facility with a water polo pitch and an emergency service training centre.
The 100m by 70m basin is located between the IFSC and the CHQ building next to the River Liffey. The council said when the facility is completed it will be operated by its sports and leisure section.
The facility is due to be used for elite slalom squad training, as well as national and international white-water kayaking events, canoe polo and water polo matches, and for tourist and recreational rafting. It will also be used by the fire brigade and other emergency services and local authority staff for rescue training.
We would be very excited about the prospects for developing young athletes in that area
Thirty-seven Dublin city councillors voted in favour of the plans put forward at its monthly meeting on Monday evening, 19 voted against and three abstained.
Canoeing Ireland said it was "delighted" the plans were approved by councillors and that it hopes to host international competitions there once the facility is built.
Moira Aston, chief executive of the organisation, said: "We would be very excited about the prospects for developing young athletes in that area and giving kids an opportunity to grow a love for water."