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A Fine Gael TD has called for an increase in the €40 million funding allocated to the current round of the Sports Capital and Equipment Programme (SCEP), in recognition of the record number of applications submitted in 2020 seeking total funding of over €200 million.

Cork East TD Deputy David Stanton said, “The Sports Capital and Equipment Programme is the primary financial support for sports clubs and organisations nationwide, with grants funding the development of facilities and the purchase of equipment. This investment in local sports facilities and recreational amenities has never been as significant to communities, given the importance of maintaining physical and mental wellbeing during the pandemic.

“The importance of our community sports amenities is reflected in the fact that a record number of SCEP applications were submitted to the 2020 round of the scheme. 3,106 applications were submitted, seeking total funding of over €200 million.

“I understand that the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media has earmarked a minimum of €40 million for funding under the current round of the scheme. However, I believe that an increased total funding allocation must be considered for the current round of the Programme, considering the exceptional circumstances of the last year.

“I raised the possibility of an increased total allocation with the Ministers concerned by way of a Parliamentary Question, and I’ve been informed that any additional resources will be considered in the context of the National Development Plan review and analysis of the likely drawdown demands for older Sports Capital and Equipment Programme grants in the coming years.

“The development of local sports and recreational facilities has both immediate and long-lasting effects on communities. It encourages people of all ages to get physically active while simultaneously increasing the membership of local sports clubs. These clubs and organisations provide a daily outlet for exercise and engagement and promoting positive mental health and wellbeing after a period where social interaction has been kept to a minimum.

“I believe that an increase in Sports Capital funding is needed and warranted to allow the benefits of such an important scheme to reach a far greater number of communities nationwide. As such, I will continue to raise the possibility of additional funding with the Department and the Ministers concerned”, concluded David Stanton.

See Parliamentary Question submitted by Deputy Stanton on the possibility of increasing the funding available to the current round of the Sports Capital Programme here.