Minister Byrne launches Participation Nation Outdoor Fund

  • Funding available for investment in barrier-free outdoor sport infrastructure
  • Fund focused at increasing participation in local community settings
  • Fund open to applications from the network of Local Sports Partnerships nationwide from today until Friday, 21 June

The Minister of State for Sport, Physical Education and the Gaeltacht, Thomas Byrne T.D., has launched a new sport investment fund, the ‘Participation Nation Outdoor Fund’, for the purchase and installation of permanent sport equipment that can be placed on public land for community use.

In line with the Programme for Government target of reaching 60% overall participation in sport by 2027, the fund is designed to spur physical activity in local community settings by supporting Local Sports Partnerships with the development of sport projects on publicly-accessible land.

The fund will be overseen by the Department and administered by Sport Ireland with applications open to the network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships. (‘LSP’). A minimum of €70,000 will be available to each LSP for the purposes of installing barrier-free sports infrastructure on publicly-accessible land.

Minister Byrne said:

Every person, of every ability, should enjoy the right to participate in sport and physical activity. Last week, I announced funding of up to €120m under a new round of the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund and this week, I am delighted to launch the new Participation Nation Outdoor Fund. From small-scale investment to large-scale investment in sport, we must always ensure that there is a participation dividend. The new sport fund that I am announcing today is very important because it will provide communities and individuals with the opportunity to be more active in barrier-free outdoor settings. This new sport fund will help us in realising the many social and health benefits that come with participating in sport and physical activity and I look forward to seeing the delivery of these sport projects around the country.”

Any queries regarding the fund should be directed to

  • The new fund announced today will complement the existing Sports Capital and Equipment Programme and the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund.
  • The fund will also promote nature connectedness with a specific focus on supporting the biodiversity of the surrounding environments on the land being used for these projects. Further details on this aspect will be confirmed in the near future.
  • The list below, which is indicative and not exhaustive, sets out sports / means of physical activity projects which are considered to fulfil the purpose of the fund.

* Installation of Boxup facilities

* Storage containers for water sports such as kayaking, canoeing

* Croquet, Boules, coastal swimming/water sports supports (e.g. handrails/ladders for access)

* Table tennis tables

* 3×3 Basketball courts

* Multi Use projects – e.g., Aerial Activity and Mountain Biking Courses

* Permanent Volleyball nets

* Golf (putting greens).

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