The national lottery funded sports capital programme, which is administered by my Department, allocates funding to sporting and community organisations at local, regional and national level throughout the country.
The programme is advertised on an annual basis. I advertised the 2003 programme in the national newspapers on March 23 and 24 with a deadline for receipt of applications of 5 p.m. on Friday, April 25 next. The duration of the application period is similar to that in 2002, when more than 1,350 applications were received. In addition, given that the programme has been so successful and has allocated more than €213 million to more than 2,900 projects in the past five years, it is well established as a vital source of sports funding and most prospective applicants would have been aware that the programme is run on an annual basis and would have much of the planning of the application already in place. Accordingly, I do not propose to accede to the request from the Deputy.
Questions Nos. 274 and 275 withdrawn.