The Sports Capital Programme (SCP) as operated by my Department provides funding to voluntary, sporting and community organisations for the provision of sports and recreational facilities. Over 11,500 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. Under this 2017 round a record 2,320 application were submitted and €62m was allocated to 1,837 individual projects. 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. Ministers were presented with a list of applications and a proposed monetary allocation for each valid application and no subsequent changes to these amounts were made. 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 underway 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.
In relation to future funding of larger sports projects, the National Sports Policy was published on 25th 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 is open to applications until 17th April 2019. Full details of the new Fund are available on the Department's website. The fund will initially focus on the requirements and development plans of National Governing Bodies of Sport and Local Authorities and they will be required to prioritise their projects and certify that their proposals accord with their development strategies and plans. As with the SCP, it is envisaged that the full scoring system will be published prior to any assessment working commencing.
The SCP and the LSSIF are managed in a transparent and open manner as set out above. While the programmes will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, I have no plans to move responsibility for sports capital grants.