Sport Northern Ireland has announced a new plan to invest £17.5m of its National Lottery funding into sports facility projects over the next five years.
Speaking about the new Facility Fund, Brian Henning, Sport Northern Ireland Chair commented: “As part of the delivery of our Corporate Plan over the next five years, Sport Northern Ireland is delighted to announce a £17.5m investment of National Lottery funding into sporting facilities throughout Northern Ireland. This investment will continue to develop facilities for sporting communities, clubs and athletes and ensure that the people of Northern Ireland can enjoy, engage and excel in sport for many years to come.”
The DCAL Minister for Sport Carál Ní Chuilín also welcomed the launch of the Facility Fund saying; “Sport has an important role to play in our society, not least because of the benefits being active brings in terms of general health and wellbeing, regardless of background or the level of ability. To encourage as many people, regardless of gender, age or ability, to participate in sport it is essential that we invest in sporting facilities. It is also important that those facilities are accessible to, and meet the needs of, those who aspire to become elite athletes, as well as those who just want to do their best, take part and be active.
“This Lottery funding, administered by Sport Northern Ireland, will deliver facilities across a range of sports, from grassroots through to high performance level, and I very much welcome it. The funding represents a significant investment in local infrastructure and as such it will also help tackle social deprivation and need in communities across the north.
“I encourage governing bodies, sports clubs and other organisations who have viable projects, which meet the sporting needs of communities, clubs and athletes, to engage with Sport Northern Ireland to find out more.”
Sport Northern Ireland conducted a series of consultation events across Northern Ireland to engage with a wide range of stakeholders on the future direction of its Corporate Plan and future capital investment needs, with the aim of meeting the requirements of stakeholders within the sporting community. The consultation feedback allowed Sport Northern Ireland to shape its future capital investment model to align with its corporate objectives of: Sporting Communities, Sporting Clubs, and Sporting Winners.
The Facility Fund will invest in facilities through the following three strands:
- Single Facility: single-sport facilities which seek to increase participation within the club structure
- Multi Facility: multi-sport facilities which seek to increase participation across local communities
- Performance Facility: performance sport facilities which meet the needs of community participants and high performance athletes within the same multi-sport environment
The minimum investment through the Facility Fund will be £17.5m over five years.