Thursday, 8 June 2006
Dáil Eireann Debate
130. Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism his views on providing 100 percent grants for capital sports projects in view of the high number of applicants who due to financial constraints cannot draw down their allocations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22163/06]
Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism (Mr. O’Donoghue): Under my Department’s sports capital programme, grants are allocated to sporting and to voluntary and community organisations for the provision of sporting and recreational facilities and equipment. The programme is advertised on an annual basis.
A review of the programme was published in December 1998 and, following its recommendations, a detailed set of guidelines, terms and conditions for the programme were established for the 1999 programme and continue to be used. One of the recommendations was in relation to the minimum amount of the project cost which an applicant for a local project should be expected to have in place at the time of making an application. That level was set at 30% with a reduction for designated disadvantaged projects of 20%. Disadvantaged projects are those designated by Government for special support through the schemes administered by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (DCRGA), i.e. namely RAPID 1, RAPID 2, Local Drugs Task Force areas and Clár. Successful applicants to the sports capital programme which are in Clár or which have been endorsed by RAPID, qualify for additional top-up funding from DCRGA, up to a maximum total allocation of 80% of the project cost.
In circumstances where an applicant has access to funding from other Government sources, it is still expected to have at least 5% of the cost in its own funding. The need for a local contribution is a normal requirement in relation to Government funding and is in accordance with accepted levels of best practice.
My Department is currently undertaking a new strategy for the funding of sports facilities and one of the aspects which it will examine is the minimum level of funding which should be required by applicants under the sports capital programme.
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