Catherine Martin TD, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, and Thomas Byrne TD, Minister of State for Sport and Physical Education, today announced ‘top up’ grant allocations to existing projects under the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF).
The first allocations under the LSSIF were announced in January 2020 with €86.4 million subsequently awarded to 33 different projects.
This additional funding amounts to a total of €37.6 million, with 27 individual projects benefitting. That brings the total awarded to date to Large Scale Sport Infrastructure funded projects to €124 million.
Connacht Rugby’s redevelopment of the Sportsground is a beneficiary, as is the redevelopment of the RDS Main Arena, and Munster Rugby’s Cork Centre of Excellence at Musgrave Park.
The additional funding for projects is being provided, in response to delays experienced by grantees arising from the pandemic and construction inflation, following engagement with the Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform.
The Ministers also confirmed today that a new round of the Large-Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund will open for applications in the first half of 2024, with the dates, terms and conditions to be published on the Department’s website, in due course.
For the first time, it will be a requirement for all successful applicants to publish their Similar Access Policies, in respect of men and women having access to the facilities on similar terms, in order to be eligible for a ‘top up’ allocation drawdown.
Commenting on the announcement, Minister Martin said: “I am delighted to make two announcements today, along with Minister of State Thomas Byrne, in relation to the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF).
“Firstly, that a new round of the LSSIF will open for applications in the first half of 2024, with the dates, terms and conditions to be published on the Department’s website in due course, and secondly, the additional funding of €37.6 million towards LSSIF funded projects.
“It is vitally important that we have sporting facilities like these so that people of all ages and abilities can benefit from their use. From the Government’s perspective, if we are to achieve our ambitious targets and get as many people participating in sport as possible we need the necessary facilities.
“Similarly, if we are to develop our elite sportspeople we need to invest at grassroots level. I am pleased that the Government is in a position to provide further assistance in the development of these facilities in light of the challenges they have faced since funding was confirmed just before the pandemic.
“I know that the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund will deliver a number of exciting facilities in the coming months and years ahead.”
Minister Byrne stated: “I am determined to see continued investment in sports facilities across the country in order to ensure we achieve our ambitious targets for sports participation.
“In recent months, I was delighted to see a number of LSSIF projects open to the public, including the Linear Walkway Project in Meath, phase one of Walsh Park in Waterford, and the Regional Athletics Hub in Limerick.
“By investing in sport facilities across the country, we can best nurture our future sporting talents and reap the benefits of sport and physical activity when it comes to our health and wellbeing, and that is why I am delighted to confirm this additional investment of €37.6 million towards LSSIF funded projects.
“I look forward to a new round of the LSSIF opening for applications in the first half of 2024 which will provide further opportunities for positive investment in our sporting facilities.”