The green light was unanimously given by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council's planning committee to transform the 46-year-old centre and surrounding area into a state-of-the-art leisure, health and wellbeing hub.
The ambitious redevelopment plan - which was awarded £20m from the UK Government's Levelling Up Fund earlier this year - includes a new leisure building, designed to Passivhaus standards to ensure environmental sustainability, with cutting edge sports amenities including a new eight-lane swimming pool, separate learner pool and splash pad area for young children and gym facilities. It also includes versatile community and multipurpose spaces for health partners and others with dedicated areas for health and wellness activities.
Outdoors, the proposal includes a destination playpark and urban sports park; a replacement 3G sports pitch; new walkways and trails and the development of an active waterfront area and improved pedestrian linkages to Enniskillen town centre.
The proposed redevelopment will be designed to complement and enhance the natural and historical landscape and increase biodiversity.
Speaking about the proposed redevelopment of the Fermanagh Lakeland Forum, the vice-chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, councillor AnnMarie Donnelly, said: “The granting of planning approval represents a significant milestone in the proposed redevelopment of the Fermanagh Lakeland Forum and surrounding area.
“The overall proposal has been designed to benefit local people and the wider district by creating new opportunities for leisure and recreation, health and wellbeing, tourism, the local economy and supporting the local environment and biodiversity.”
The redevelopment proposal was developed following extensive consultation and engagement with elected representatives, members of the public, statutory and community organisations and local businesses.
The design stage of the redevelopment proposal is ongoing. It is anticipated that the Full Business Case for the project will be presented to Fermanagh and Omagh District Council for approval mid-2024, when a decision on the investment will be made.