Tuesday, 30 March 1999
Dáil Éireann Debate
299. Mrs. B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation the status of the application by a person (details supplied) in County Donegal for grant aid for a caravan park project. [9075/99]
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation (Dr. McDaid): While I am aware that a grant application has been submitted under the Tourism Measure of the Northern Ireland/Ireland INTERREG II Programme, I have no direct function in relation to the evaluation or selection of projects seeking funding under the measure.
300. Mr. Yates asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation if he will clarify the situation in relation to the variable levels of grant aid, if any, between disadvantaged areas, both regional and urban, in the administration of the sports and recreational capital grants scheme; if he will give details of this treatment for disadvantaged areas; and the criteria on which they are assessed. [9088/99]
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation (Dr. McDaid): While all applications received under the new sports capital programme will be treated on their merits, special priority will be given to proposals for facilities in disadvantaged areas, in line with Government policy aimed at increasing participation in these areas.
The terms and conditions for the new programme provide that grant aid up to a maximum of 70 per cent of the total project cost may be allocated in the case of local projects. Where such local projects are located in disadvantaged areas they may be funded up to a maximum of 80 per cent.
Disadvantaged areas are defined as those areas which have been designated under the Operational Programme for Local, Urban and Rural Development 1995-99, and are appended to the guidelines for the new sports capital programme which issued with the application forms.
Other factors such as equity in the spread of funding on a geographical basis and among different sports and community groups will also be taken into account in determining grant allocations. The detailed criteria to be applied in assessing applications are set out in the guidelines for the new programme.
Almost 1,900 applications were received by the closing date of 12 February 1999 and these are being examined and assessed at present. Given the large number of applications received and the level of work involved in evaluating them, I do not expect to be in a position to make final announcements on the 1999 round of grant allocations for some time yet.
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