For Oral Answer on : 24/02/2022
Question Number(s): 68 Question Reference(s): 10404/22
Department: Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
* To ask the Minister for Tourism; Culture; Arts; Gaeltacht; Sport and Media if her Department has set aside funding for successful appeal applications to the recent Sports Capital Funding Programme announcement; if so, the amount of such funding; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
– David Stanton T.D.
For ORAL answer on Thursday, 24 February, 2022.
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. The Programme for Government commits to continuing the SCEP and to prioritising investment in disadvantaged areas.
The 2020 round of the Programme closed for applications on 1 March 2021. By this date, 3,106 applications were 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. All of the improvements which were introduced for recent rounds of the Programme to make the process as user-friendly as possible were maintained for this round. This included giving applicants a second chance to submit corrected documentation. The full scoring system and assessment procedures can be viewed on the sportscapitalprogramme.ie website.
Approximately one thousand of the submitted applications were for ‘equipment-only’ projects. These applications were assessed first and grants with a total value of €16.6m were announced on 6 August 2021. The remaining capital applications were then assessed and 1,865 individual grant offers with a total value of over €143.8 million were announced on Friday 11 February 2022.
As with recent rounds of the Programme, the total funding available to allocate for each county was based on the population and the level of demand for that county. The top scoring applications in every county received the full valid amount applied for. The remaining applications were allocated a grant based on their score and the amount sought while applications in the bottom scoring 5% of applications in any county received no more than 75% of the amount sought.
Details of all applications submitted under the 2020 round can be viewed on www.gov.ie. All valid capital applications received a grant offer and all allocations can also be viewed on a county basis on the same site.
My Department will shortly be in touch with all successful applicants via the Department’s online system (OSCAR) formally notifying them of their provisional grant allocation. These notifications will set out the steps required to obtain formal approval of their grant. When work is complete and grantees can show proof of payment, my Department will then process any grant draw down requests.
My Department will also be in contact with all applicants whose applications were deemed invalid. There are currently 243 such invalid capital applications. All unsuccessful applicants will have the opportunity to appeal the Department’s decision and full details of the appeals procedure will issue to these organisations shortly. Of the record €150 million made available for capital projects, €6 million has been kept in reserve for any successful appeals lodged by unsuccessful applicants.
When the appeals process is complete, a full review of the 2020 round of the SCEP will be undertaken and any recommendations contained therein will be included in the terms and conditions of the next round. The precise timing of this next round of the Programme will be announced once this review is complete.