Saturday, May 25, 2024

Auckland Council onside with $15m in sports funding

Auckland Council has signed off on more than $15 million in funding for sport and recreation facilities in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Auckland Council’s Parks, Arts, Community and Events (PACE) Committee approved applications totalling $15.3 million from the Sport and Recreation Facilities Investment Fund.

The Fund is a 10-year, $150 million fund provided through Auckland Council’s 2021-2031 10-year Budget.

Councillor Alf Filipaina, Chair of the council’s PACE Committee, says the role of recreation in communities cannot be underestimated.

“Sport and recreation are a major contribution to our quality of life, health and wellbeing. We’re proud to partner with sports organisations to enhance the lives of Aucklanders,” he said.

“This investment fund ensures we continue to support those working in our communities and helping us stay, or become, active,” says Cr Filipaina.

The fund prioritises investment into large scale community sport facility development projects that can leverage additional investment.

It is contestable and open to non-council organisations for significant facility development with the focus on communities that are in the greatest need of investment.

Expressions of interest were received from 103 community groups, which were narrowed down to 38 stage two applications seeking funding to build or upgrade their sport and recreation facilities.

An independent panel assessed each application, taking into consideration a lack of sport and recreation infrastructure in Tāmaki Makaurau, delivering value-for-money by leveraging external investment, responding to changing participation preferences, and getting more Aucklanders physically active.

This year, 24 projects were approved across 14 local board areas and 16 sports codes – with 95% of the funding allocated to construction projects.

Council’s Active Communities General Manager, Dave Stewart says the fund’s focus was on creating the best outcomes for Aucklanders while ensuring value for investment is achieved.

“Sport and recreation continue to be a high priority for Aucklanders of all ages with many people wanting choices when looking to be active.”

“This fund allows the wider sport and recreation community to deliver a broader range of activities than ever before to stay fit and healthy,” said Mr Stewart.

Expressions of Interest for the 2023/2024 funding round are due to open in late October.

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