The construction of a €25 million white-water rafting centre (WWRC) at George's Dock in Dublin has moved a step closer. 

It follows Dublin City Council inviting expressions of interest from contractors to build the contentious scheme.

Planning was granted for the proposal in December 2019 in spite of the cost of the project almost doubling from an initial €12m to €23m. 

The documentation now released by Dublin City Council shows that the estimated cost has increased once more with the current estimate of €25m (ex VAT) on the project.

The documentation stresses to would-be interested parties that "this project is subject to funding".

The WWRC will consist of the white-water rafting course, swift water rescue training facility, kayaking and canoe polo pool and urban street scene including a new plantroom building. 

However, assuming that funding can be secured for the project, the documentation states that the local authority is currently aiming to award a contract to construct the scheme in the third quarter of this year. 

The construction phase of the project is expected to take 18 months.

City councillors were shown plans in January 2019 to convert the early 19th-century dock into a mechanically-propelled rafting facility with a water polo pitch and an emergency service training centre. 

The site is located between the IFSC and the CHQ building next to the River Liffey. 

At that point the cost was estimated at €12 million. The council said the original cost had been preliminary and had not included design fees or VAT.

The project now also involves the construction of two new buildings, a water treatment facility and flood defences. 

The application stated that the proposal provides a significantly improved recreational facility in an area where relatively few sporting or recreational facilities in a sustainable location. 

However, in one objection, Mary D'Arcy asked why is Dublin City Council spending "crazy money" on even considering the idea of a developing a WWRC for the city's docklands.

In a hard-hitting submission, Ms D'Arcy contended "whoever thinks this is a priority for the city needs their head examined".

Another Dubliner, Nigel Clarke of Cullenswood Park, Ranelagh told the Council that he strongly objected to the plan for George's Dock. 

In his objection, Mr Clarke stated: "There is no evidence of demand for a white-water rafting facility." 

The closing date for expressions of interest is 22 February.