Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund Review and new Similar Access Requirement Published 

A new round of the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund will open for applications in the coming weeks (Subscribe to our newsletter to be informed when the call opens, click here)

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 (3 April 2024) published a review of the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF), along with a new policy requirement on implementing similar access for men and women to sports facilities funded under the LSSIF. 

In view of the slower than anticipated project completion rates, due mainly to Covid 19 and construction inflation, a review of all LSSIF projects was undertaken. The review outlines the issues faced by LSSIF projects to date, and provides recommendations in relation to a new round of LSSIF. The five recommendations range from guiding principles in respect of maximising the use of Large-Scale Sports Facilities, naming rights of stadiums, and the level of grant aid received by projects. 

The new Similar Access Requirement now means that recipients of LSSIF funding must accommodate the needs of women and men, on a similar basis, with respect to accessing the facilities that have been allocated public funding. Any organisation that is in receipt of LSSIF funding must have a similar access policy in place, and must work towards publishing it as soon as possible.

Commenting on the publication Minister Catherine Martin said:

“This review is timely as it provides an overview of the progress made in respect of LSSIF projects that were already allocated grants, and incorporates inputs from meetings with all LSSIF grantees. The recommendations in this review will be taken into account ahead of the new round of LSSIF, launching shortly. For women and girls, the sporting environment can sometimes be unwelcoming and excluding, leading to a lack of participation and engagement.  I hope the new LSSIF requirement, the Similar Access Requirement, further improves access for all women and girls using publicly-funding sporting facilities.

“Minister Byrne and I have already confirmed that a new round of the LSSIF will open for applications in the coming weeks, with the dates, terms and conditions to be published on the Department’s website shortly. I would encourage all eligible projects to consider applying for this competitive application process when it opens.”

Minister Thomas Byrne said:

“It is very important that anybody considering applying for LSSIF funding is aware of the new Similar Access Requirement that I am proud to introduce. Under the Similar Access Requirement, women and men must have similar access to LSSIF funded facilities and recipients of LSSIF funding must also have a published policy showing how that is the case in practice. By implementing the Similar Access Requirement, we can better ensure equal opportunities to participate in sport.

“Deliverability is a key focus of the LSSIF and I am eager for projects to be completed sooner than have been to date. The LSSIF Review makes a number of recommendations which will be considered as part of the new call for LSSIF applications.”

The Review and Policy Documents can be accessed at:


The LSSIF is the main vehicle of government support for the development of larger sports and physical recreation facilities in the country. The Fund provides Exchequer support where the Exchequer investment is larger than the maximum grant available under the Sports Capital and Equipment Programme. 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.

Summary of LSSIF Review Recommendations;

Recommendation 1; Consideration to be given to specific population and climate action/ sustainability criteria in a future round of LSSIF.

The most recent Sports Capital and Equipment Programme (SCEP) “Guide to Making an Application” had a focus on climate action and sustainability for the first time, supporting local clubs to take steps to reduce their energy consumption and applying for more efficient lighting. Under a future round of LSSIF, marks may also be awarded to applications from areas witnessing significant population growth. In particular, the level of existing facilities in an area will continue to be a factor when scoring applications.

Recommendation 2. Reduce the administrative overhead for lower value grant aided projects will be examined in a future round.

The funding provided under the LSSIF is substantial, and implementing the rules and procedures of the Public Spending Code to the highest standard is essential to guarantee value for money for all publicly funded projects. It is accepted however, that the requirements for grantees receiving lower levels of grant funding was significantly more demanding than those pertaining to the maximum grants available under the SCEP.

Recommendation 3. Further consideration to be given to the level of grant aid funding required to deliver projects.

Review meetings with grantees highlighted that many applicants, in preparing their applications, believed that 70% of the eligible project cost would be provided if they were successful. Given that the first round of LSSIF was oversubscribed and subsequently it was not possible to give any project the full amount sought. This will need to be fully considered ahead of a new LSSIF call for applications.

Recommendation 4. LSSIF applicants will be required to set out their facility access policy which provides for similar access for men and women to the sport’s facility.

In similar terms to the requirements set out under the 2023 SCEP Guide, future LSSIF applicants will be required to set out their similar access policy for the use of the facility for men and women.

Recommendation 5. Guiding Principles in respect of Stadiums and Large-Scale Sports Facilities;

LSSIF applicants must clearly demonstrate how their stadium and/or large scale sports facility will be utilised to the greatest possible extent on completion of their project. Criteria is also provided which should be taken into consideration prior to any agreement on stadium and/or large scale sports facility naming rights being made by a LSSIF grantee.

Scroll to Top