The Sports Capital Programme 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 (SCP) closed for applications on Friday 19th October 2018. By the closing date, 2,337 applications were submitted seeking a total of €162m in funding. This was the highest number of applications ever received. 186 of these 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 €7m in allocations to 170 projects were announced on the 17th January. 619 equipment only applications were assessed next and 466 allocations with a value of €9.8m were announced to these organisations in May. The final allocations for capital works were announced in the last week with a total of €39.5m allocated to 1,009 projects. This means that over €56m was allocated to sports projects under this most recent round which I believe represents a very significant step in improving sports facilities right across the country.
In view of the fact that the total amount sought by all applicants was €162 million, clearly not all applicants could receive the funding they sought. In relation to how individual grants were decided, the full scoring system was published in advance of assessment work commencing. The main considerations in assessing applications included the level of disadvantage in the area, the likelihood of the project increasing participation, whether the facility would be shared with other organisations and the level of SCP funding previously received by the organisation.
In relation to future assistance, Minister Ross and I will continue to make the case for enhanced investment in sport infrastructure in the years ahead to ensure that all of the objectives set out in the National Sports Policy are met. My Department will now undertake a full review of the 2018 round of the SCP to consider any further improvements to the application and allocation process. This Review will also consider the timing and scale of the next round of the Programme but I fully expect that a new round will open for applications in the coming months.