£125k of travel funding moved to Jersey Sport

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The body, which oversees sport development in the Island, took over the Travel Grant Scheme, which subsidises the cost of Islanders participating in overseas sports events and training camps, from the States at the end of last year.

A ministerial decision signed by the politician with responsibility for sport, Assistant Economic Development Minister Steve Pallett, has now authorised that the scheme’s funding be formally transferred to the new body and be ringfenced solely for the purpose of providing sports travel grants.

Mr Pallett said that Jersey Sport would also receive up to five per cent of the total budget figure extra a year to pay for the administration of the scheme, rather than take any capacity away from Jersey Sport by asking it to use the existing budget.

An additional £5,000 has also been made available to cover the set-up costs.

All of the funding, including the grant, has come from States underspends.

The report accompanying the decision says: ‘Based upon the historical officer time involved in administering the former scheme, arranging cheque payments, monitoring reports and obtaining refunds for underspends, it is believed that this payment solution represents greater value for money than the historical grant process.’

In 2016 the Treasury Minister agreed that up to £125,000 per year would be ringfenced from underspends in 2017, 2018 and 2019. It is then expected that Economic Development will devise a long-term funding solution.

The scheme budget was also £125,000 in 2013 but that increased to £325,000 in 2014 and 2015 in an effort to increase participation in the run up to the Jersey NatWest Island Games in 2015. In 2016 it was reduced to £275,000.

Applications for the first round of funding this year opened in December, with a second due to take place in June.

Previously grants were given before travel and then the States sought to recover underspends, however under Jersey Sport they will be paid after travel and on presentation of receipts.

Meanwhile, Jersey Sport has also entered into a new nine-year lease with the States to use office space in the main pavillion at FB Fields.

Infrastructure Minister Eddie Noel, who is responsible for the States property portfolio via Jersey Property Holdings, has signed a ministerial decision authorising the lease.

He said Jersey Sport would be paying rent for the office space but that he could not disclose the amount or the terms of the lease at this time.

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