Sports capital grants scheme reopens on September 7th

Disadvantaged areas set to receive higher priority following Wesley grant controversy

Minister for Sport, Shane Ross. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Minister for Sport, Shane Ross. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

Applications for the State’s €40m sports capital grants programme reopen on September 7th with disadvantaged areas due to receive a higher priority as a result of changes to the process.

These changes follow controversy last year when a €150,000 grant was given to Wesley College in the constituency of Minister for Sport Shane Ross.

Initially the minister said he was “delighted to confirm” the private school was getting the grant before clarifying he had had no part in the decision.

In a joint announcement made on Thursday by Mr Ross and Minister of State in his department Brendan Griffin, it was confirmed that €40 million is being made available under a new round of the Sports Capital Programme (SCP).

Mr Griffin highlighted changes to the programme. “While the SCP is already hugely popular with sports clubs across so many different sporting disciplines, we are determined to make the application process as simple and user-friendly as possible,” he said.

He pointed to “significant changes in our assessment methodology” which have been rolled out to minimise the number of invalid applications.

“We will also give even greater priority to applications from disadvantaged areas and projects that promote the sharing of sports facilities with other clubs and the wider community,” he said.

The guide to making an application was also published on the Department’s website today on www.sportscapitalprogramme.ie.

Registrations will close at 5pm on Friday October 5th.