The opening of applications for funding of large-scale sporting infrastructure projects could happen as soon as next week.
Sport for Business attended the special Ministers Briefing of elements relating to sport in Budget 19 and the detail of this new funding stream is drawing closer.
We have reported in recent weeks and months that at least three projects are already lining up to tap into the fund. These are the RDS and Leinster Rugby submission for the redevelopment of the RDS Arena; the newly announced redevelopment of the Sportsgrounds in Galway from Connacht Rugby and the Irish Greyhound Board and the potential National Cricket Stadium on the site of the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus.
There will be others for sure with a number of GAA projects also thought to be ready for submission.
We learnt yesterday that an additional €8.8 million has been secured for this fund which will now be worth €63 million over the first years of 2019, 2020 and 2021.
There will likely be a renewal of a similar amount under the auspices of Ireland 2040 and these will be exciting times for project managers working on the big idea elements of our sporting infrastructure.
It was also confirmed that €40 million will be distributed as part of the Sports Capital Grant scheme currently open until Friday week.
Depending on the scale of applications, which is believed to be high, the plan is to make announcements on at least some of these in the early months after a determination has been made as to eligibility and local or regional importance.
This year’s window of application was late due to a number of issues which have now been ironed out in terms of criteria and the logistics of application.
It is hoped that a spring window of application will be announced with the first confirmation of this year’s funded projects.
It was also confirmed at the briefing that an additional €16.5 million is being made available for the continued construction of the National Sports Campus at Abbottstown.
The second phase of the National Indoor Arena is rising from the ground and will be followed by works starting on the new Velodrome and Badminton Centre.
Image Credit: Rob Hartnett