The Sports Capital Programme (SCP) provides funding to voluntary, sporting and community organisations, and to local authorities for the provision of sports and recreational facilities. Over 12,000 projects have now benefited from sports capital funding since 1998, bringing the total allocations in that time to close to €1 billion. The programme has transformed the sporting landscape of Ireland with improvements in the quality and quantity of sporting facilities in virtually every village, town and city in the country.
The most recent fully completed round of the programme was the 2017 round. The exact amount allocated to each project was based on a formula which combined the assessment score obtained, the amount of funding sought and the total amount of funding available for that county based on a per-capita basis. The full scoring system and assessment manual was published on the Department’s website prior to any assessments commencing. Further details of the allocation process are available in the Review of the 2017 Sports Capital Programme which is published on the Department's website at http://www.dttas.ie/sites/default/files/publications/sport/english/sports-capital-programme-2017-review/review-2017-sports-capital-programme.pdf .
Work is now under way on the assessment of applications under the 2018 round of the SCP and again the full scoring system and assessment manual was published on the Department's website before the detailed assessment work commenced. 186 applications were for projects that were deemed invalid under the 2017 round of the programme that subsequently submitted corrected documents. These applications were assessed first and approximately €7 million in allocations to 170 projects were announced on 17 January. 619 equipment only applications were assessed next and 466 allocations with a value of €9.8 million were announced to these organisations last week. A number of local authorities received funding and details of these allocations are available on the website. Work is now under way in assessing the remaining applications for capital works.
In relation to future funding of larger sports projects, the National Sports Policy was published on 25 July 2018 and provided for a Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF) with at least €100 million available over the coming years. The fund was launched in November 2018 and 72 applications were submitted by the deadline of 17 April 2019. The fund is initially focused specifically on the requirements and development plans of National Governing Bodies of Sport and Local Authorities.
The SCP and the LSSIF are managed in a transparent and open manner as set out above and local authorities themselves are key beneficiaries of the schemes. While both programmes will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, I have no plans to propose devolving responsibility for sports capital grants to local authorities.