Tuesday, 21 June 2022
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
34. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht when she expects to receive the review of projects allocated funding under the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund; when it is intended that Fund will re-open for applications; and the process Monaghan County Council will have to engage with following the review in order to secure funding to provide a public swimming pool in Carrickmacross, County Monaghan.; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32204/22]
39. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of appeals on hand in his Department under the Large Scales Sports Capital Programme that were submitted on time and in accordance with the scheme; when he intends to bring about a conclusion to the long-standing appeals process under the Large Scale Sports Capital Programme, if he will give a commitment that successful appeals under the Large Scale Sports Capital Programme will be awarded grants in 2022; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32248/22]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 34 and 39 together.
The Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF) was launched in 2018 to provide Exchequer support for larger sports facility projects, including swimming pools, with at least €100 million being made available over the period to 2027.
The first allocations under the LSSIF were announced in January 2020 and, thus far, approximately €86.4 million has been awarded to 33 different proposals. The projects that received provisional allocations and the amounts provisionally awarded to them are published on the Department's website at www.gov.ie/en/service/4113b3-large-scale-sport-infrastructure-fund-lssif/. The rules of the scheme and the assessment process are also published on that page.
The total funding applied for under the scheme significantly exceeded the amount available to allocate and it was not possible to allocate grants to many worthy projects. It was also not possible to provide all successful applicants the full amount sought.
While the priority in the short term is to advance the projects that were allocated funding, as it is now two years since the first allocations were made, and in view of the issues faced by grantees as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was considered timely to review progress on all projects allocated grants. My Department has now met with all successful grantees and work is at an advanced stage in drafting the review. I expect this work to be finalised shortly.
All unsuccessful LSSIF applicants were given the opportunity to appeal the Department’s decision if it was felt that an error was made in the assessment process. Six appeals were received, consisting of five under Stream 1 (Design) and one under Stream 2 (Construction). All appeals were assessed by officials who were not involved in the initial assessment process and a final decision on the LSSIF appeals will be made as part of the LSSIF review .
Once that review is complete the scope for awarding any additional grants, adjusting the level of existing grants and the timing of any new call for proposals, including proposals for new swimming pools, will be considered.