Thomond Park Stadium has announced the launch of its Community Sponsorship Fund.
The new fund will be distributed under the Thomond Park Stadium Community Programme which works with a wide range of local community groups and organisations.
The new Community Sponsorship Fund will support a range of social, education and community projects. The fund will be used to develop a range of local community initiatives that Thomond Park Stadium has been involved in through its Community Programme. The fund will also work with local schools, sports clubs, community groups and local voluntary organisations to support new programmes, purchase equipment or support local community projects. The fund will be administered through a newly appointed independent Community Fund Board linked to the Thomond Park Stadium Board of Management.
Speaking at the announcement of the fund John Cantwell, Stadium Director in Thomond Park outlined how the Community Sponsorship Fund evolved from the work the Stadium has done through its Community Programme. He explained “since the redevelopment of the Stadium we have proactively sought to help and work with as many local community groups as possible. This has resulted in the establishment of a varied Community Programme that has worked with youth groups, art and culture groups, education, to organisations catering for social disadvantage and people with disabilities. We are mindful of the status of the stadium in addition to its social role in Limerick particularly across the local community. It is the involvement within the local community that has encouraged us to look at more sustainable ways to contributing to the area and this fund will help develop even more projects with a meaningful long term local impact”.
Munster’s Keith Earls said the new fund would help deliver a lot of key projects which are very important to the local community. He outlined “growing up near the stadium you appreciate what it means to the local community and the pride we take in it. The development of the fund as an extension of the Community Programme will make a real difference for local community projects and build further on the Stadiums place in our community. It will also allow local groups to work even closer with Thomond Park Stadium to identify longer term projects that can be delivered through the fund which will benefit a broad mix of groups from young and old”.
John Cantwell added “we are mindful of the impact the stadium has locally from a social and economic perspective. On an event day we employ over 800 people in a variety of operational roles. A recent independent analysis of the economic impact of the stadium conducted by Focus Consulting revealed that sports, entertainment and business events held at the stadium have contributed in excess of €132 million in value to the local economy. In addition to providing local employment and stimulating city wide business we want to ensure the local community benefits socially from the success of the Stadium. This Community Fund will now enable groups to deliver projects that have been hampered by limited access to funding and help them plan for 2011 with the knowledge that we can provide some assistance”.
The Community Sponsorship Fund is open to local community groups and organisations. An application form can be downloaded on www.thomondpark.ie. Each submission will be independently assessed based on the funding categories of Education, Community, Environment and Social programmes.
Notes on Economic and Social Impact of Thomond Park Stadium:
- The study conducted by Focus Consulting revealed that the first two years of operations up to October 2010 saw 640,000 pass through the turnstiles. Total is approx 760,000 to date since reopening in October 2008.
- Over €600,000 has been paid to local people working as event staff employed across all aspects of stadium operations
- 40 local suppliers work with the Stadium in the supply of products and services.
- The impact on Limerick hotels was also significant with 30,000 bed nights created for the city from Thomond Park events, matches and conferences.
- The study estimated that the return to the exchequer from all local Stadium activity is in the region of €23 million
- It also compared that economic value of the Stadium to the city was the equivalent of employing 565 annually in full time equivalent roles.
- The Focus Consulting Thomond Park Impact Report also outlined how the redevelopment of the stadium has accelerated the level of sports tourism impact on the city and region. The study tracked the impact of the stadium over the past three years including visitor spend before the redevelopment of the new Stadium growing from €3.5m to €10.5m based on analysis of Heineken Cup play off and pool games.
- Following France’s nomination as host country for the UEFA Euro 2016 Football Tournament and the announcement by the French rugby league of a number of stadia renovations, Thomond Park Stadium was selected as a prime example of renovation and positive social & economic impact. A delegation from leading French rugby & football clubs, stadia architects & construction consortia visited Thomond Park in November 2010 to look at Best Practice in Stadium Development and Impact