In relation to my Department's responsibilities, two schemes provide grant assistance to sports organisations and local authorities for the development of sports facilities.
The Sports Capital and Equipment Programme (SCEP) 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 2020 round of the SCEP closed for applications on Monday 1st March 2021. By the closing date, over 3,100 applications were submitted seeking over €200m in funding. This is the highest number of applications ever received.
The scoring system and assessment procedures were published earlier this year and all applications are being assessed accordingly. Approximately one thousand of the submitted applications were for 'equipment-only' projects. These applications were assessed first and grants with a total value of €16.6m were announced on the 6th August.
In relation to the remaining capital applications, assessment work is continuing and every effort is being made to have it complete as quickly as possible. Given the record number of applications received however, it is likely to take a further number of weeks to have these assessments complete. Once these allocations are finalised an announcement on the timing of the next round of the Programme will be made.
Funding is also provided by my Department to Local Authorities under the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF). The LSSIF is designed for projects where the grant sought is greater than the maximum available under the SCEP. The first allocations under the LSSIF were announced in January 2020 and thus far, approximately €86.4m has been awarded to 33 different proposals. The priority in the short term is to advance all of those projects. As it is now over 18 months since the first allocations were made, and in view of the issues faced by grantees as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is timely to review progress on all projects. My Department is engaging with all grantees in this regard. The timing of any new call for proposals is also being considered and it is expected that the review will be completed shortly.