The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, and Minister of State, Jack Chambers TD, today (October 14) announced details of €1,081,818 gross funding allocated to the Department in Budget 2021, covering a range of robust new funding streams and measures to ensure the survival and recovery of businesses and operations in sectors overseen by the Department.
Minister Catherine Martin said: “The diverse range of sectors served by this Department have been amongst those most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Employing many hundreds of thousands of our fellow-citizens, right across the country, these are the sectors that thrive when people congregate to enjoy their leisure time together. They were the first to close as a result of the pandemic, and they are likely to be amongst the last to return to full operations in the future. Our Cultural Institutions and theatres, our tourism destinations, pubs and restaurants, our sporting occasions and our Gaeltacht communities have all been severely hit since March. Many are shut, or are hugely curtailed, yet these activities are the very ones which bring us all joy, and which are crucial for all our physical and mental health.
“This Budget has now put in place a number of substantial measures to support and strengthen these sectors through 2021.
“Of course, we have been in constant dialogue with stakeholders and sectoral representatives throughout the crisis. Together with my officials, I have set up a number of different engagement channels, to ensure that we, as policy-makers, are listening closely to the voice of the cultural practitioner, the hospitality business-owner, the sporting bodies and our Gaeltacht communities. A wide range of targeted and imaginative government supports put in place since March have drawn on this interaction, and have helped sustain activity and employment in these sectors. (Full details are in Appendix.)
“Budget 2021 has been informed by this ongoing strong engagement between my Department and the sectoral representatives. The strong suite of significant measures detailed below is a robust and targeted response to this crisis; it will support resilience and recovery, and will ensure that Ireland will thrive once more on the global stage in the fields of tourism, culture, sport and linguistic heritage, of which we are so proud.
“These are sector-specific measures, and are of course augmented and supplemented by the economy-wide business support and social welfare measures which were announced in the budget, and which my Cabinet colleagues, including Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, have already gone into further detail.”
KEY SPORT SECTOR HIGHLIGHTS:
Objective: To contribute to a healthier and more active society by promoting sports participation and by supporting high performance and the provision of sport
Budget 2021 – Sport Highlights:
– Sport Ireland allocated €104.5m – up €36m
– Dormant Accounts funding for Sport allocation of €10m – up €2m
– Funding for a new round of the Sports Capital Programme
Current funding support for Sport Ireland programmes has been increased by €26.29 million. This funding will enable Sport Ireland to continue to support the sport sector in 2021, including measures such as:
• Increased funding for high performance sport to ensure our athletes are supported to achieve their potential at the postponed Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games
• Increased core grant funding for our sporting bodies to sustain them through the challenging months to come
• Increased funding for Sport Ireland participation programmes including the innovative online resources which have proved so successful this year
The Government also agreed an increase in Dormant Accounts funding for sport of €2 million bringing the total allocation up to €10 million. This funding will target hard-to-reach communities with innovative projects to promote and sustain participation in sport and physical activity for all.
The Government reaffirmed its commitment to developing the Sport Ireland Campus at Blanchardstown with an increased capital allocation of €9.7 million for 2021.
In relation to capital investment in sports projects, the 2021 provision will allow for a new round of the Sports Capital Programme to open for applications shortly with allocations to be made next year. In addition, resources have been provided in 2021 to progress the first projects allocated funding earlier this year under the new Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund.
Funding of almost €6m has been allocated in Budget 2021 to meet existing commitments pertaining to Ireland’s hosting of the Ryder Cup in 2027 and to fund potential future bids for major events. Such events not only have benefits for sport, they can also contribute to economic growth and have the potential to help in Ireland’s recovery from the effects of the COVID19 pandemic.
Minister Chambers said: “This is a very considerable investment in sport and builds on the extensive support package provided to address the Covid challenges to NGBs and clubs in 2020. The funding will increase core grant funding for our sporting bodies to sustain them through the challenging months to come. I know clubs across the country will be looking forward to a new Sports capital programme which will open in near future and the increase in Dormant Accounts funding will promote and sustain participation in sport and physical activity, particularly in hard to reach communities.”
“The Government recognises that it is currently difficult to forecast the impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on Irish sport in 2021. The Government has shown this year that it is prepared to step in to sustain key landmarks in Irish sporting life and the Government and Sport Ireland will continue to engage closely with the sporting bodies to ensure all necessary support is available in 2021.”