Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1555)

Richard Boyd Barrett


1555. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the funding available for sports facilities; the way to apply for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34712/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Sports Capital Programme (SCP) is the primary vehicle for Government support for the development of sports and physical recreation facilities and the purchase of non-personal sports equipment throughout the country.

The 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme closed for applications on Friday 19th October last. By that deadline, a record 2,337 applications were submitted seeking a total of €162m in funding. The assessment of these applications is nearing completion.

As soon as allocations have been made, my Department will carry out a review of all aspects of the 2018 round of the programme to include any possible improvements for the future. This review will include consideration of the timing and scale of the next round but I fully expect that the SCP will again be open for new applications before the end of this year.

In relation to larger capital projects, the National Development Plan confirmed the establishment of a new Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF) with at least €100m available over the coming years. The scheme is designed to provide a transparent and robust system for funding sports capital projects where the Government contribution exceeds the amount which is currently available under the SCP. Initially, the scheme has a particular focus on National Governing Bodies of Sport and Local Authorities.

The LSSIF opened for applications on 19th November 2018 and the closing date for receipt of applications was 17th April 2019. 72 applications were received in total and my officials are currently assessing them. Details of all applications have been published on the Department's website.

In view of the detailed information contained in each LSSIF application, I am advised that it will take a number of months to have all of them assessed. Accordingly, I expect that it will be towards the end of this year before allocations are announced. A decision on the timing of the next call for applications under the LSSIF will be made after the announcement of these allocations.