2020 Sports Capital and Equipment Programme Review published by Ministers Martin and Byrne
- greater focus on Climate Action, Disability and Gender Balance
- continued focus on projects sharing facilities with other sports
- further investment in areas of disadvantage
- ongoing investment in projects targeting female participation
- prioritisation of projects targeting disability
- rewarding future applications with environmental focus
The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media’s Review of the 2020 round of the Sports Capital and Equipment Programme (‘SCEP’) was published on the department’s website today.
The 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. It aims to increase sporting participation across all sectors of the population.
After each round of the Programme, a review is undertaken to identify any changes required to further improve the scheme. The Review published today provides a comprehensive look at all aspects of the 2020 round including statistical data on how the funding was allocated. The 2020 round itself was a record one with over €166 million allocated to sports clubs and organisations throughout the country.
Among the recommendations contained in the Review published today is a continued prioritisation of projects that share facilities with other sports and further enhanced investment in areas of disadvantage. The Review also identified new areas for focus, including:
- rewarding projects which incorporate climate action measures
- rewarding projects which include adaptations for persons with disabilities through ring-fenced scores at assessment stage
- expanding the SCEP remit to include applications for upgrades to swimming pools
- an increase in thresholds for capital grants at both local and regional level
- prioritising applications from areas witnessing significant population growth
Commenting on the publication of the Review, Minister Martin said:
“It is exciting that the Review has a specific section on Climate Action and I look forward to seeing a greater emphasis in this regard when a new round of the Programme opens. The Review also shows that the measures introduced to target female participation have worked well and I want to see this focus continue in future rounds. The record level of funding we secured for the last round is making a real difference in communities right across Ireland and I am committed to see this investment continue in the years ahead.”
Minister Byrne stated:
“Actively participating in sport is key to our physical and mental wellbeing. To ensure as many people as possible engage, it is essential to have appropriate sports facilities and equipment available in line with population demands. I urge all eligible sports organisations, clubs and schools to start their preparations so that they are ready when the 2023 round of the Programme opens for applications.
“I am determined to see the Programme continuing to target female participation in sport and in this regard, I welcome the Review’s recognition of the need for the National Governing Bodies of Sport to achieve a minimum of 40% representation of each gender in the membership of their Boards by the end of 2023. The adherence or otherwise of the relevant NGB to the gender balance requirement will be a consideration in approving future grant allocations.”
Both Ministers stressed the need for organisations that have not applied for funding previously to register on the department’s online SCEP application system (OSCAR). This can be done on the department’s website.
A new “Guide to Making an Application” for the 2023 round of the SCEP will now be prepared to factor in the recommendations contained in the Review. The exact dates from which new applications will be accepted will be announced by Ministers in the coming weeks.