Offaly Independent Alliance councillor Noel Cribbin has welcomed the announcement by Transport, Tourism and Sport Minister Shane Ross that the money available under the Sports Capital Programme has been doubled in Budget 2018 and says that small sporting clubs and facilities will reap the benefits.
The establishment of a new large scale sport infrastructure fund will also see almost €50m being set aside to support national and regional sporting facilities throughout the country.
Minister Ross said that, when it comes to investment in sport, his Department is thinking big and thinking ahead.
“We will be investing at all levels thanks to the unprecedented funding package for sports infrastructure we secured in the Budget and which will impact right across the country,” the Minister said.
The Sports Capital Programme targets relatively small, local, projects and this year saw the highest ever number of applications received, such is its success, he claimed.
“In order to meet the hopes of as many of these excellent projects as possible, I am delighted that I have secured extra funding to meet the extraordinary demand. In fact, the funding is being doubled from the original €30m to €60m, Ross said.
“And while ensuring that local clubs and organisations around the country are taken care of, we also have an eye to the bigger projects to support the playing and watching of sports.”
“Investing in sports infrastructure to provide state of the art facilities for our elite and aspiring athletes is a key priority for me.”
“Earlier this year, I gave the go-ahead to commence Phase 2 of the National Indoor Arena at the National Sports Campus. It will be completed in 2019.”
“I am also delighted to confirm that the Government is committing €16m to develop a National Velodrome and Badminton Centre at the National Sports Campus in 2020 and 2021.”
“As the first indoor velodrome on the island, this arena will be a hugely valuable resource for our athletes while also helping to increase participation rates,” Minister Ross said.
"This is very positive news for all sporting clubs and hard working committee members up and down the country," Noel Cribbin said.
"Whilst The Minister was in Edenderry this week I had a private meeting him to discuss sporting clubs in this area that have submitted applications and also for funding for the Grand Canal Greenway and what that would mean to this area and the whole of Offaly where tourists are thin on the ground," Cribbin continued.
"I would be hopeful that this area will get its share," Cribbin concluded.
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