€30M fund launched by Minister Ring to upgrade sports facilities across Ireland

A new €30 million fund for important sports capital projects has been launched today by Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring TD.
This is the first round of sports capital funding for four years and demonstrates the Government’s commitment to encourage more people to take part in sport.
The Sports Capital Programme is the main channel of Government support for developing sports facilities and purchasing sports equipment for sports clubs and organisations across Ireland.
The scheme will also be open to far more clubs and groups than ever before, because a strict requirement on landownership has been relaxed. In the past, all applicants had to own their land or have it on a long lease. Minister Ring has decided that these clubs will now be able to apply for grants of up to €25,000 to upgrade facilities.
“In line with the Programme for Government, this new Sports Capital scheme will have a stronger focus on projects which increase active participation in sport, particularly in disadvantaged areas. Under this scheme pitches will be drained, floodlights will be installed, sports halls will be improved and dressing rooms will be built,” Minister Ring said.
“Thanks to these grants, people will have more opportunities than ever to get active and stay active in a wide range of sports. It will also have a positive impact on job creation in construction.”
The minimum amount of matching funding which clubs and organisations will need to provide themselves in order to apply for a grant has been halved from the previous round of the programme in 2008:
Groups in RAPID areas will only need to raise a minimum of 5% of the project cost in order to apply;
Groups in CLÁR areas will only need to raise a minimum of 10% of the project cost in order to apply;
Groups in non-disadvantaged areas will only need to raise a minimum of 15% of the project cost in order to apply.
Minister Ring said he is delighted to be able to able to oversee the return of the Sports Capital Programme. However, with less money available than in the past, many grants will be smaller. He also stressed that the Department will monitor spending by clubs closely in order to ensure it is utilised fully for the purpose intended.

Application forms and information about how to apply is available on the website: www.sportscapitalprogramme.ie.