Jenny Marra MSP




Fair Chance For Sports Cash for Dundee?

29th. January 2016

On Monday night Dundee City Council approved contracts that will see preparatory work start on the Regional Sports Hub that is to be built at Caird Park.

Readers will remember Sports Minister Shona Robison gave Dundee the consolation prize of the regional sports centre when she decided to put the National Sports Centre in Edinburgh and not in Dundee.

That national centre would have seen £25 million in central government money invested in our city.

When she awarded the regional centre to Dundee it seemed to be that it would be fully funded.

However, sportscotland is only putting £5m into the project, while Dundee City Council has to stump up the remaining £12m.

Shona Robison and I agree the sports centre is a great new addition for the city.

But I wonder if she might now, in the light of the cuts being made to Dundee City Council’s budget, go back to sportscotland and ask them to up their contribution?

The Grow Trust published a report last autumn which analysed where the agency spent its money in 2014-15. It shows deprived communities do not get a fair slice of government sports funding.

In fact, it reported that less than 3% of SNP Scottish Government sports funding goes to the most deprived communities.

The report concluded: “There may be a case for deprived communities to have substantial overinvestment in the coming year to help even things up.”

In the light of this and the substantial cuts to Dundee City Council’s budget, I have written to Shona Robison asking her to increase the Scottish Government’s funding of the sports hub at Caird Park, to help the city’s budget and make sure we get our fair share of sports funding in Dundee.

Jenny's article was first published in the Dundee "Courier" link