The opening dates for the 2018 round of Sports Capital Programme funding has been confirmed by Frances Fitzgerald T.D. and local clubs are encouraged to consider their projects for the scheme.

“I am pleased to confirm that a new €40 million Sports Capital Programme will be open to applications from 9am on Friday 7th September until 5pm on Friday 19th October, 2018,” said Fitzgerald.

Deputy Fitzgerald detailed the application process and important dates for clubs, saying; “Applications are welcomed from sports clubs, community organisations and schools who are looking to develop sports facilities in their area.

“To apply, groups must register through the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sports Online Sports Capital Register (OSCAR) system at www.sportscapitalprogramme.ie. Registration opens today and closes at 5pm on Friday the 5th of October. 

“Once registered, groups will be able to make applications from 9am on Friday the 7th of September until 5pm on Friday the 19th of October. 

“In advance of the opening date, I would advise committees and interested parties to check out the resources available on this website to make sure that they meet all the relevant criteria and to get the ball rolling on the paperwork required.”

She also outlined a number of changes to the scheme this year, stating; “The 2018 round of funding has a number of changes to the previous 2017 scheme such as; changes in assessment methods to reduce the amount of invalid applications, greater priority to applications from disadvantaged areas and projects that promote the sharing of sports facilities with other clubs and the wider community. These changes will hopefully simplify the process as one of the most frustration aspects of these applications has been when they come back invalid due to technical or legal reasons. 

“I particularly welcome the new agreement reached with the Department of Education which means that all schools can apply for the Sports Capital Programme as long as they do so in conjunction with a sports club. By working together, communities can access funding that benefits the school during school hours and local clubs outside of school times. This is a great opportunity and I would encourage local schools and clubs to reach out to each other to explore a potential joint-venture.”Since her Party increased investment into the Sports Capital Programme in 2013, Deputy Fitzgerald has assisted clubs and organisations in accessing information and supports for their applications for funding.

“As a local TD, improving our local facilities and amenities has always been a priority of mine. I want to ensure that our area can benefit as much as possible from the successes of our economic growth and these grants are an important vehicle to support our clubs and organisations to thrive.

“I have really enjoyed working with so many of our local clubs, schools and organisation on Sports Capital Programme projects over the years. We have plenty of local success stories that show that this fund can deliver for local communities and sports clubs from the redevelopment of Clondalkin Rugby FC, improvements to Clondalkin’s Round Towers GAA pitches, pitch development and gym facilities for St. Marys GFC in Saggart and St. Pats GAA in Palmerstown as well as lots of smaller grants that have brought high quality equipment to so many clubs across the area. Last year alone, Dublin Mid-West was awarded over €1million in Sports Capital Programme funding, supporting projects such as all-weather pitches for Knockmitten United FC and Rathcoole Boys and Peamount United.

“All these examples show how this funding is achievable and can help local clubs deliver long-awaited projects,” concluded Fitzgerald.