Watershed transforms with innovative upgrades

Behind - Maria Dollard, Pat Crotty, Ger Crosse, Donal Higgins, Tim Butler, Martin Prendiville, Sean McKeon, Niall Lehane, Billy Murphy Front – Andrew McGuiness and Tina Dowling

Thursday May 25th saw the official launch of four significant projects recently completed at The Watershed: the resurfacing of the synthetic pitches, the replacement of the sports hall floor and the installation of new PV Solar panels and Biomass boiler, all of which were made possible under grant schemes and capital funding.

The Watershed is a limited company managed by CEO Tina Dowling and is overseen and supported by a Board of Directors who work in a voluntary capacity. With fifty employees they contribute positively to employment in Kilkenny and serve a diverse range of members, pay as you go customers, schools, clubs and sports organizations. Open fifteen years this year, the facility is a result of the vision and leadership of Kilkenny County Council, in creating the largest multi-use sports facility in the region for the benefit of the community. The Watershed are mandated by the Council to achieve annual operational financial self-sufficiency and receive no subvention towards their operating expenses.

Last year the two sports capital projects were made possible from a sports capital grant of €300k along with €200k grant funding from the Council. SIS Pitches completed the works on the Astroturf in conjunction with Miceal McGovern, Sportsturf and Tom Gavin of TG Flooring completed the works on the sports hall floor in conjunction with Junkers flooring.

The Watershed is significantly impacted by the energy crisis, with gas and electricity prices rising by over 60% in the past two years. Installation of new PV solar panels by Local Power and new Biomass boiler by WoodCo have helped to reduce energy costs and contribute positively to the environment, by reducing the facility’s carbon footprint.

The Watershed successfully installed PV Solar panels through a financial loan of €85k from Kilkenny County Council and a BEC (Better Energy Community) grant of €50k. Additionally The Watershed implemented a new Biomass Boiler by entering into an ESCO agreement with WoodCo and participating in the SEAI grant scheme project.

Speaking at the event were CEO Tina Dowling, Cathaoirleach Councillor Pat Fitzpatrick, Chairman Pat Crotty and Deputy Mayor Andrew McGuinness.

“Here at The Watershed, we are committed to providing sport and leisure opportunities for people of all ages and abilities, whilst contributing positively to the environment and I am looking forward to continuing and adding to the huge success story of The Watershed for many more years” Tina Dowling.


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