Varadkar urges local clubs to register now for Sports Capital Grants

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Dublin West TD and Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has confirmed that €30 million is available to develop sports infrastructure around the country including west Dublin.

He has urged local clubs and sports organisations to prepare now for the application process and register online.

More than 30 clubs have received funding of €2.2 million in sports capital grants since Fine Gael brought back the Sports Capital programme in 2012, following its abolition by Fianna Fáil.

“My Fine Gael colleague, the Minister for Sport Patrick O’Donovan, has confirmed to me that €30 million is going to be made available to develop sports infrastructure around the country under the Sports Capital Programme in 2017,” Minister Varadkar said.

“The Sports Capital Programme was re-instated in 2012 during my term as Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, after being cut by Fianna Fáil in the wake of the economic crash. It represents excellent value for money.

“I want to see local clubs and organisations benefit as much as possible from this funding and so I encourage all involved to prepare the necessary paperwork for their applications in advance. Local clubs and sports organisations should register now at www.sportscapitalprogramme.ie. Online applications will then be accepted from the 23rd January to the 24th February next year.

“I welcome Minister O’Donovan’s move to simplify the application process this year. The application form has been significantly shortened, and the Department of Sport has published a helpful guide on its dedicated Sports Capital Programme website www.sportscapitalprogramme.ie. There will also be a series of regional workshops in the New Year to help applicants, which is really welcome.

“Fine Gael in Government is investing Ireland’s economic progress in communities around the country to ensure that everyone can benefit. Sport is just one important element of this. So far this year, over €22.8 million has been paid out to 680 organisations to support the development of sports facilities and the purchase of sports equipment through the Sports Capital Programme.”

The Programme funds:
• natural grass sports pitches, tracks and courts (including pitch drainage);
• floodlighting;
• artificial sports pitches, tracks, courts and multi-use games areas;
• security fencing, ball stop netting and goal posts;
• hurling walls and handball alleys;
• building or refurbishment of dressing rooms, showers and toilets;
• building or refurbishment of sports halls and gyms;
• and non-personal equipment including lawn mowers and defibrillators.

It is good for applicants to note that anything set in the ground (such as goal posts) is not considered equipment. The grant also covers other capital projects that are clearly sporting in nature and that will increase participation in sport or improve performance.