Tuesday, 21 June 2022
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
8. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht If she will support a boxing club (details supplied), a hugely successful community boxing club with a person and Olympic hopefuls, that still does not have a permanent home and is operating in utterly inadequate facilities and to work with Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to assist them as a matter of urgency; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32457/22]
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 €1.15 billion. The Programme for Government commits to continuing the SCEP and to prioritising investment in disadvantaged areas.
The 2020 round of the SCEP closed for applications on Monday 1 March 2021 and by the deadline a record 3,106 applications were submitted.
Approximately one thousand of the submitted applications were for 'equipment-only' projects. These applications were assessed first and grants with a total value of €16.6 million 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.
Unsuccessful applicants were able to appeal the Department's decision. The deadline for submission of capital appeals was Monday 4 April and 146 appeals were received. The assessment of all appeals is complete and the consequent allocations amounting to €6.14 million were announced on Tuesday 31 May.
The total allocation of €150 million for capital projects represents the highest level of allocation ever made under the SCEP.
While the Programme funds a broad range of projects it should be noted that the Programme does not fund the purchase of land or buildings. Full details of the Programme and the type of projects funded can be found at www.sportscapitalprogramme.ie
A separate tax relief scheme for donations to sports clubs may be used by any sports club or organisations to assist in funding the acquisition of land or a building, developing facilities or purchasing fixed, non-personal equipment for sports activities, or repaying a loan for any of these purposes to fund the purchase of land. More information in this regard can be found at www.revenue.ie.
Currently all boxing clubs are entitled to apply directly for Sports Capital and Equipment funding up to a value of €150,000 for local projects. In cases where a club does not own a premises, it is still permissible for that club to apply for capital grants up to a value of €50,000 and I note the club in question has received SCEP funding previously for equipment under the 2018 round. The SCEP is also open to applications from local authorities however, and such applications may include proposals to develop sports facilities on behalf of local sports clubs. The latest round of the SCEP included an application from Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to develop a new facility at the rear of an existing community facility which will primarily be used by the club referred to by the Deputy. The local authority sought €150,000 towards the work and I was pleased that the allocations announced in February of this year included the full amount sought which is the maximum grant available for local projects under the SCEP. It is now a matter for the local authority to advance the works and my Department will ensure there is no undue delay from our perspective in advancing the proposal.
More generally, it should be noted that 49 boxing clubs received funding under the 2020 SCEP round which is indicative of our commitment to the sport. With regard to any future applications from the boxing club or the local authority a full review of all aspects of the 2020 round of the SCEP will commence shortly and any recommendations arising will be reflected 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.
In relation to current expenditure funding, Sport Ireland channels funding for boxing through the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) as the National Governing Body for boxing. It does not provide direct funding for clubs. In 2021, Sport Ireland allocated funding of almost €1.5 million to the IABA across the Core Funding, High Performance, Women in Sport and Dormant Accounts Funding. A further €1.2m was allocated to the IABA in Covid funding over the last two years to support the NGB and its clubs in meeting the challenges arising from Covid-19.