Agenda item


            The Committee considered the following report:


“1.0      Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues


1.1       To advise Committee of progress with the Stadia Community Benefits Initiative (SCBI) and update on the action plan.


2.0       Recommendations


2.1       The Committee is asked to


·        Note progress to date.


3.0       Main report


3.1      The Council has been undertaking the Leisure Transformation Programme to renew its Leisure facilities across the City. This Programme has been influenced by the Partnership opportunities presented by the NI Executive Stadia Programme.


3.2      The Council, Department for Communities (DfC) and the Irish Football Association (IFA) have recognised the opportunities presented by the Stadia Programme, have committed to work together to maximise these benefits, and have agreed to establish a Stadium Community Benefits Initiative as part of the Belfast Community Benefits Initiative to implement and deliver agreed objectives including promoting equality, tackling poverty, and tackling social exclusion within the Belfast area.


3.3      In March 2016 the Council, DfC and IFA signed an agreement which sets out their respective commitments to the project. As other major stadia are developed in Belfast it is anticipated that other sports governing bodies shall become parties to the agreement. At its April 2018 meeting People and Communities committee agreed that Council would work with the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) within the Stadia Community Benefits Initiative and recognised their significant planned investment in Gaelic Games in the city to support their Gaelfast strategy. GAA activities became fully incorporated into the action plan at the start of financial year 2019-2020, with Gaelfast staff imbedded into the governance structure at Communications Board, Delivery Board, Policy and Performance Board.


3.4      The agreement is for a period of ten years with financial commitment from Council and IFA in place to the end of March 2026. Delivery is managed through monthly meetings of the Delivery Board, which reports quarterly to the Policy and Performance Board. Financial and performance reports will be presented to Council and other partners’ Boards as necessary. Formal review of the agreement will be carried out in this financial year in accordance with the requirements to review at years 5 and 10.


3.5      The Policy & Performance Group is responsible for agreeing the Benefits Realisation Plan and associated annual targets. Work was undertaken to ensure the end benefits/outcomes are aligned to partners’ strategies. To measure the progress of this the Council and the IFA have developed a range of indicators/intermediate benefits which are monitored through programme delivery:


a.      Number of coaching sessions provided

b.     Number of coaches engaged in delivering coaching

c.      Number of sessions improving club governance

d.     Number of volunteering opportunities

e.      Participation opportunities for under 16s

f.       Female participation rates

g.     Number of people completing skills development programme

h.     Number of sessions for under-represented groups

i.       Number of sessions for school and youth groups

j.       Community group usage of stadia

k.      Number of clubs attaining club-mark

l.       Educational opportunities

m.    Number of programmes targeting ASB

n.     Improved collaborative working

o.     Number of disabled participants

p.     Number of older people participating


3.6      Following the completion of a baseline assessment in early 2017, annual work-plans are developed each year. The 2021 – 2022 action plan was developed with a view to delivering a majority of activities using online methods in Q1 and Q2 with some wider face-to-face engagement if possible commencing in Q3 and Q4. The action plan for 2021 – 2022 includes a mixture of sports specific programmes (e.g. National Governing Body specific coach education) and some joint collaborative initiatives delivered by both sporting codes.




3.7      Programme delivery to date in year 5 (financial year 2021/2022) despite challenges due to Covid restrictions has been successful. Effective advance planning has mitigated covid restrictions and no planned initiatives were postponed during Q1 & Q2.  Details of the IFA and GAA specific activities alongside Joint projects are included at appendix 1 and appendix 2 Relaxations in the Covid restrictions has enabled broader engagement in Q3 and a range of activities have recommenced such as collaborative engagement in schools alongside online learning including a sports nutritional workshop. Further joint and sports specific initiatives are planned for Q4 including workshops looking at club funding, female coaching, club ethos, mental health first aid alongside other scheduled engagement programmes.


            Financial Implications


3.8      In accordance with the Council’s obligations under its DfC Funding Agreement for the Olympia Regeneration Project, the Council has committed a sum of £100,000 per annum for a minimum of ten years, so that a minimum of £1,000,000 is contributed in total to the Project. In relation to current year spend partners have projected full utilisation of the budget across both joint and individual work programmes. Q3 and Q4 spending will utilise Q1 and Q2 reprofiled funds carried over owing to inability to deliver some projects owing to Covid-19.


            Equality or Good Relations Implications/Rural Needs Implications


3.9      There are no additional impacts related to this report.”


            The Committee noted the update.


Supporting documents: