In terms of public services, the national lottery-funded sports capital programme, which is administered by my Department, is run on an annual basis and allocates funding towards the provision of sporting and recreational facilities to sporting and voluntary and community organisations at local, regional and national level throughout the country.
One of the programme's four stated main objectives is the prioritisation of the needs of disadvantaged areas in the provision of facilities. This objective is being met by prioritising applications for projects which are located in designated disadvantaged areas by requiring that that they need contribute less of their own funding towards projects than other applications and also by giving them a higher assessment score. In addition, applications which include programmes improving social inclusion also receive higher assessment scores.
In consultation with the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and Area Development Management, ADM, which is the agency with responsibility for the administration of the RAPID programme, disadvantaged areas under the sports capital programme are those designated by Government for special support through the schemes administered by DCRGA, namely, RAPID 1, RAPID 2, local drugs task force areas and CLÁR. The improved targeting of RAPID projects under the sports capital programme is regularly praised by ADM and also by the RAPID national monitoring committee.
In the past four years, a total of €120 million has been allocated under the sports capital programme to almost 1,300 projects in respect of the provision of facilities in areas categorised as disadvantaged.