Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, and Minister of State for the Gaeltacht and Sport, Jack Chambers, today (11 February) announced an overall package of €150 million in new capital grants under the latest round of the Sports Capital and Equipment Programme (SCEP). €144 million is allocated to almost 1,900 applications with €6 million kept in reserve for successful appeals lodged by unsuccessful applicants.
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, said:
“Sport is crucial for all communities in Ireland. There was a record number of applications for these grants and the government responded with the most significant level of individual awards ever.
So this is a great day for sports clubs and community groups right around the country and I want to congratulate all of the successful applicants.
It has been a tough two years for many sports clubs but the pandemic really demonstrated the importance of sport for our collective wellbeing. The grants we are announcing today will significantly improve sports facilities in every county. There is a huge variety of different sports covered and I was particularly pleased that the scoring system placed an even greater emphasis on female participation.
Over 30 sports and activities are represented, ranging from competitive, track and field games right through to walking.
I want to thank all of the volunteers associated with these clubs for their tireless work and their commitment to improving their facilities to benefit all members.”
Minister of State with responsibility for Sport, Jack Chambers, highlighted the huge number of grantees and the wide variety of sports funded:
“Anybody involved in sport at local level knows the importance of the Sports Capital and Equipment Programme. I am delighted that today’s announcement represents the highest level of funding ever provided for any round of the Programme.
As well as the major field sports, funding is being provided to tennis clubs, cricket, boxing, kayaking, wheelchair sports and martial arts to name just some. It is great to see crowds back at big sporting events in recent weeks but our key focus is to get as many people participating as possible. COVID-19 revealed to us all the importance of community and I am particularly pleased that so many community centres and organisations have been allocated funding to develop projects in towns and villages across the country. If we want to achieve our participation targets, we must provide high quality facilities and that is what today’s announcement is all about.
As well as grants to local clubs, I am also delighted that we are providing over €17 million for projects deemed to be of “regional” significance. Amongst these grantees are a number of GAA County Boards, National Governing Bodies of Sport and Local Authorities.”
The record level funding allocation announced today was achieved with the support of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath, and it reflects the government’s ongoing support to Sport during the COVID-19 pandemic as it emerges from the challenges of the past two years. It reflects the funding challenges facing clubs across the country, the unprecedented number of applications received and the vital role that sport plays in supporting community and individual wellbeing, a role that came into sharp focus during the pandemic.
The Sports Capital and Equipment Programme (SCEP) is the primary vehicle for government support for the development of sports and recreation facilities and the purchase of non-personal sports equipment throughout the country. Over 13,000 projects have now benefited from sports capital funding since 1998, bringing the total allocations in that time to over €1.1 billion.
By the closing date for applications (1 March 2021) under this latest round, 3,106 applications had been submitted seeking over €200 million in funding. This is the highest number of applications ever received. The scoring system and assessment procedures were finalised and published prior to assessment work commencing and all applications were assessed in accordance with these procedures.
Approximately one thousand of the submitted applications were for 'equipment-only' projects. These applications were assessed first and grants with a total value of €16.6 million were announced on 6 August 2021.
Full details of all allocations announced today are set out on the department’s website
All unsuccessful applicants will be given the opportunity to appeal the department’s decision and information on the appeal process will issue to relevant organisations in the coming weeks. €6 million has been set aside to cover successful appeals under this process.