Wednesday, 25 February 2004

Questions (91, 92, 93)

Jerry Cowley

Question:

177 Dr. Cowley asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism if there are grants or plans to make moneys available to establish a gymnasium in the area of Louisburgh, County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6208/04]

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Jerry Cowley

Question:

179 Dr. Cowley asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism if there are grants available to establish a gymnasium in a rural area of west Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6203/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 177 and 179 together.

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.

Applications are considered which have been submitted by or on behalf of voluntary and community organisations, including sports clubs; in certain circumstances, schools, colleges and local authorities; and national governing bodies of sport and third level education institutions, where it is evident that the proposed facility will contribute to the regional and-or national sporting infrastructure.

The 2004 sports capital programme was advertised in the national newspapers on 30 November and 1 December 2003. The closing date for receipt of applications was 16 January 2004. No application for funding was received under the programme for a gymnasium in the Louisburgh area. No further applications can now be made in 2004.

It remains open for the group behind this project to submit an application under a future round of the sports capital programme. The application can then be evaluated against the programme's assessment criteria to determine its suitability for funding. The assessment criteria of the sports capital programme are outlined in the guidelines, terms and conditions of the programme. I have arranged for officials within my Department to send on a copy of the current guidelines, terms and conditions to the Deputy for his information.

Jimmy Deenihan

Question:

178 Mr. Deenihan asked the Min mster for Arts, Sport and Tourism the timescale nor the commencement of work on the new stadium at Lansdowne Road; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6170/04]

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Preparatory work leading to the construction of a new stadium at Lansdowne Road is already under way. Since the Government's decision of 27 January to support a joint IRFU-FAI proposal to redevelop Lansdowne Road into a 50,000 all seated stadium, my Department has been in regular contact with both the IRFU and FAI to plan for project implementation. A steering group has been established to advance the project, which includes representatives of the IRFU, FAI, my Department and OPW. Its first formal meeting was held last Monday morning, 23 February. A priority for the steering group will be to ensure that all the legal, financial, planning and procurement requirements are met in an efficient and timely manner so that the work on the project can commence at the earliest possible date.

Actual construction, which is expected to take 29 months, is scheduled to commence in 2006 and be completed by the end of 2008. The delivery of the project will be undertaken by a special purpose vehicle to be set up by the IRFU and FAI. Discussions leading to the establishment of such a vehicle are at an advanced stage.

Question No. 179 answered with QuestionNo. 177.