SPORTS clubs from Cork city and county will benefit to the tune of almost €7 million when the long-awaited Sports Capital Grants are finally announced today.
Sports Minister Brendan Griffin is set to announce the grants this afternoon, with approximately 200 clubs in Cork due to benefit from capital funding.
Some €6.7 million will be handed out to Cork clubs for pitch upgrades, new floodlights and a host of equipment.
Among the more significant grants are:
:: €91,500 to Ballincollig AFC for the installation of floodlighting
:: €116,000 to Carrigaline AFC for the conversion of a natural grass pitch to an all-weather one.
:: €105,000 has been allocated for the development of a high-performance centre at Leevale Athletic Club.
:: St Finbarrs Hurling & Football Club will get €100,000 to upgrade their gym and hurling alley.
Dozens of other city and county clubs from all sporting backgrounds are set for financial support, including Nemo Rangers, Blackrock Rowing Club, Mayfield Hurling & Football Club and Togher Boxing Club.
Senator Tim Lombard welcomed the announcement, encouraging the government to match funds in the years to come.
"It is very important that these become multi-year allocations," he said.
"They are great for clubs in the city and county and the level of investment from the government is increasing drastically this year."
Senator Jerry Buttimer was equally glowing in his praise, noting major plans for a number of clubs throughout Cork.
"It is very welcome that, once again, sports capital funding is being provided to clubs and local organisations in Cork and around the country," he said.
Independent councillor Mick Finn said the capital grants are timely and urged that they become an annual allocation.
“We all know the work being done by volunteer-led sporting clubs and organisations across the city and county and these distributions of public money help in modernising facilities and ensuring the offering they are giving to their participants,” he said.
He said that this capital funding, alongside the €1 million that will soon be issued to volunteer-led non-sports groups such as scouts and guides, will see a significant spread of funding for essential community organisations.
"These sectors have been overlooked for long enough and it’s about time we refocused on those who kept communities going while the economy was going down the tubes," Mr Finn added.