Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has been successful in receiving £20 million from the UK Government’s Levelling-Up Fund for the development of a new leisure and wellbeing centre in Enniskillen.

The new development will see the transformation of the existing Fermanagh Lakeland Forum and the adjacent areas of open space at Broadmeadow to maximise community, health, tourism and events opportunities for the benefit of residents and visitors.

The proposed development will include a new leisure centre building, walkways, trails and other outdoor activity uses, a play park, active waterfront areas, a new events space, improved pedestrian linkages to the town centre, a car parking area and landscaping.

The development will be designed to complement and enhance the natural and historical landscape and increase biodiversity. Designed to Passivhaus standards, the proposed development is a bold statement in advancing the Council’s sustainability ambitions.

As a high-quality visitor attraction, the facility and outdoor areas will increase ‘dwell time’ in Enniskillen, enhance links between the site and the retail core, positively contribute to place-shaping, town centre regeneration, and the local tourism offer.

New cycling and walking routes will also improve the facility’s connection to the town centre, facilitating movement and active travel.

Speaking about the funding, the Chair of the Council, Councillor Barry McElduff, said: “This funding is a really welcome boost and really excellent news for the Council area. Everyone is truly delighted.

“The funding will enable the Council to transform the 45-year-old Fermanagh Lakeland Forum building into a state-of-the-art facility as well as provide a wide range of additional facilities for all ages to enhance Enniskillen and encourage people to be active.”

He continued: “This exciting and innovative project will create opportunities to promote health and wellbeing, boost the local economy, revitalise the town and enhance the environment through Passivhaus design standards and the positive impact it will have on the landscape.”

The Levelling Up Fund was designed to fund projects which would make a visible positive difference in the local area as well as improve jobs, invest in towns and high streets, and protect health and wellbeing.

Others in the local area who have received funding include Clogher Valley Rugby Football Club as part of £5.1m funding for 29 rugby clubs across Northern Ireland.