Record €250m fund available for Sports Capital and Equipment Programme

  • Some €250m available for largest-ever investment in sports facilities nationwide
  • Figure represents 50% increase in funding compared with previous 2020 round 
  • Allocations due to be announced in the autumn

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., Minister of State for Sport, Physical Education and the Gaeltacht, Thomas Byrne T.D., and Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., have today announced at least €250m in funding under the latest round of the Sports Capital and Equipment Programme.

The recently negotiated National Development Plan, confirmed by Minister Donohoe T.D., has facilitated this largest-ever investment in sports facilities across the country.

The funding available represents a 50% increase on the funding allocated in early 2022 under the 2020 round of the Sports Capital and Equipment Programme. It should mean positive allocation decisions for all valid applications under the 2023 Programme.

Since 1998, more than 13,000 projects have benefited from sports capital funding, bringing the total allocations in that time to approximately €1.15 billion. It is generally accepted that the Sports Capital and Equipment Programme has transformed the sporting landscape of Ireland with improvements in the quality and quantity of sporting facilities in virtually every village, town and city.

Today’s announcement follows the confirmation made earlier this month by Ministers Martin and Byrne that over €26m in equipment-only grants had been awarded to over 900 sports groups. This represented the largest-ever allocation of equipment-only grants under the Sports Capital and Equipment Programme to date which will be of practical benefit to multiple sports organisations, their members and athletes across Ireland.

Minister Martin said:

“I am delighted to have secured the largest ever allocation for the Sports Capital and Equipment Programme. This is great news for sporting organisations throughout the country, their members and athletes. As a Government we have committed to 60% overall participation in sport by 2027. Today’s announcement takes us further along that journey as the funding confirmed, including over €26m for sports equipment earlier this month, will help to increase participation in a wide range of sports. As we look forward to the Olympics just around the corner today’s announcement is an important demonstration of the Government’s commitment to the sports sector and the communities that use the facilities to be funded. I look forward to announcing the sports clubs and organisations throughout the country who will get the funds.”

Minister Thomas Byrne said:

“I know that every club and sporting organisation who applied under the 2023 round of the Sports Capital Programme have been eagerly anticipating confirmation regarding their applications. Earlier this month I was pleased to confirm the equipment grants to organisations across the country and to over fifty sports and activities. Further individual allocations, including those for capital works and capital works with an equipment component, will be announced in the autumn. The funding confirmed today represents a 50% increase on the funding allocated under the 2020 round of the Sports Capital and Equipment Programme and it should mean positive allocation decisions for all valid applications under the current 2023 Programme. As a Government, we are delivering record budgets for sport, as we work to provide everyone, of every ability, with an opportunity to participate in sport and physical activity. I look forward to confirming individual allocations later in the year.”

Minister Donohoe said:

“The significant increase in funding available under this round of the Sports Capital Grant demonstrates this Government’s commitment to encouraging the take-up of sports, of all kinds, and the continued drive to promote sporting participation across the country. As a former Minister at the Department of Sport, I have seen first-hand the impact that the Sports Capital Grant has on the lives of our citizens, and also the demand that exists for the grant. I am pleased to see that the interest in this round is as strong as ever. The benefits of sport, at any age, both mentally and physically, cannot be overstated. There is also a tremendous sense of community that comes from engagement with sports and their associated organisations. Ensuring that we have the right equipment in place and that adequate facilities are provided is key to supporting people of all abilities to get, and to stay, involved. I was pleased that the recently negotiated National Development Plan could provide for this, the largest-ever investment in sports facilities across the country. I look forward to see this funding in action.”

More about the Sports Capital and Equipment Programme

  • The National Sports Policy 2018-2027 continues to provide the strategic direction for the provision of sporting infrastructure into the future, including through the SCEP.
  • The Sports Capital and Equipment Programme (SCEP) is the primary vehicle for Government support for the development of sports and recreation facilities and the purchase of non-personal sports equipment throughout the country. 
  • Examination of the submitted applications demonstrates that the 2023 Programme has again generated a very large number of applications. The total number of 3,210 applications exceeds the record number submitted under the last (2020) round and the total funding applied for is €359 million representing an 80% increase over the amount applied for in the 2020 SCEP. 
  • Work is now underway on assessing the “capital” applications with the allocations to be announced in the autumn. Some equipment applications that are intertwined with capital items will also be assessed.
  • Previously published details of all applications received on a county basis can be found at
  • A wide range of facilities have been funded under previous rounds of the SCEP including natural grass sports pitches, floodlighting, artificial sports pitches, tracks, courts and multi-use games areas, ball stop netting, goalposts, hurling walls, handball alleys, dressing rooms, showers and toilets, sports halls and gyms.
  • The 2023 round of the SCEP closed for applications on 8 September 2023. The 2023 round contained a number of changes from previous rounds. The “Guide to Making and Application” and “Scoring System and Assessment Manual” outlined a number of new commitments and changes including:
  • An increase in thresholds for capital grants at both local and regional level to €200,000 and €500,000 respectively. The previous thresholds were €150,000 and €300,000 respectively.
  • Specifically rewarding projects which include adaptations for persons with disabilities.
  • Prioritising applications from areas witnessing significant population growth.
  • Rewarding projects which incorporate climate action measures.
  • Expanding the SCEP remit to include applications for upgrades to swimming pools.
  • Greater interlinkage between the amount of own funding being used for the proposed project and the amount allocated.
  • The guide to making an application also made it clear that the achievement by the relevant National Governing Body of Sport of the 40% board gender balance target will be a consideration when individual grants are being allocated.
  • Changes were also made to ensure that all proposed facilities would have to provide access on similar terms to females and males.
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