Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Sports projects given £21m boost

Michael Ring says the cash will allow a diverse array of sports clubs and groups to improve much-needed facilities

Almost 26 million euro of new funding has been allocated for sports projects, it was revealed.

It is the first round of money in four years and will allow clubs to build facilities or buy equipment.

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring said: "These allocations will benefit people in every county by giving them more opportunities to get involved in sport, whatever their ability.

"This funding will allow a diverse array of sports clubs and groups to build and improve much-needed facilities, or to purchase sports equipment."

New criteria were introduced for this year's programme with a particular emphasis on clubs in disadvantaged areas.

Between 1998 and 2010, 140 euros per person was provided in sports capital funding across the country. However, the allocations to individual counties varied significantly. While the best performing county got 196 euro of sports funding per person, other counties only received a little over half of that.

This time funding has been allocated on a per-capita basis to each county with a weighting for past performance.

A total of 2,170 applications were received, the highest number of applications ever received under the programme. These applications sought a total of 229 million euro in funding. Further allocations of four million euro will be made to national and regional projects in the coming weeks.

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