Thursday, 5 February 2004

Ceisteanna (102)

Richard Bruton

Ceist:

102 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the amount of money which was allocated in grants for facilities to youth clubs in the Dublin area last year; the percentage of overall grant allocation in Dublin and nationally which this constituted; if he has satisfied himself that the criteria for grant allocation give sufficient recognition to the work of youth clubs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3560/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism)

The national lottery funded sports capital programme, which is administered by my Department, provides funding to voluntary sporting and community organisations at local, regional and national level throughout the country towards the provision of sport and recreational facilities. The programme is advertised on an annual basis. The aims and objectives of the programme are as follows: to develop an integrated and planned approach to the development of sport and recreational facilities; to assist voluntary and community organisations with the development of appropriate facilities in appropriate locations that will maximise use in terms of participation in sport and recreation — the facilities should be high quality, safe, well designed and sustainable to both the user and the provider; to prioritise the needs of disadvantaged areas in the provision of facilities; and to encourage the multi-purpose use of facilities at national, regional and community level by clubs, community organisations and national governing bodies of sport, NGBs.

As the primary purpose of the programme is to assist in the provision of sports facilities, few applications are received from youth clubs or other organisations involved in the youth services sector, responsibility for which rests with the Department of Education and Science. For example, only one application was received in the name of a youth club from Dublin under the 2003 sports capital programme. The Deputy will also be aware that the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs provides capital funding towards the provision of youth facilities in disadvantaged areas under its young people's facilities and services fund.

However, an analysis of the general category of community or mixed projects in Dublin under the sports capital programme shows that a total of €4,775,000 was allocated to 19 projects in Dublin under the 2003 programme. The community or mixed category includes all projects involving shared facilities and community type facilities, including community centres and sports halls, in which youth clubs tend to be active. An overall total of more than €14.1 million was allocated to 103 projects in Dublin under the 2003 programme. Virtually every one of those projects are engaged in providing for youth sport and I would be happy that the programme caters for the needs of the youth of Dublin and of the entire country in the provision of sporting and recreational facilities, with an overall total of €266 million allocated to more than 3,500 projects since 1998.