#Budget14 - Ireland's marine sector receives an increased capital allocation of €10 million, while the Marine Institute and Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) will each get a funding boost for 2014, as details of the latest Budget emerged yesterday (15 October).
Marine Minister Simon Coveney announced the €10 million allocation "to maintain the infrastructure at the [Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine's] fishery harbour centres and local authority fishery harbours which makes and valuable contribution to Ireland's marine sector," according to a department statement.
Similarly, the capital allocation to the Marine Institute "is being increased to €10 million to cover the cost of its ongoing research programme as well as upgrading its research vessels", while BIM receives €6.5 million "to assist the implementation of the revised Common Fisheries Policy".
There was also some good news in the Budget for businesses in the angling and aquatic tourism sectors, the retention of the 9% VAT rate for the hospitality sector, as well as a cutting of the Travel Tax to 0% as an incentive to boost visitor numbers on the back of this year's Gathering initiative.
In addition, €8 million in funding has been allocated for developing the Wild Atlantic Way, which Tourism Minister Michael Ring says will "ensure that this new west coast route lives up to international expectations".
Sports funding, however, took another hit - with the Irish Sports Council set to receive some €3.1 million less next year than in 2013. The Score has more details on the funding cut, which effectively rolls back State expenditure on Irish sport to 2006 levels.
It is as yet unclear which sports will be fare worst from the reduction - although community sports clubs nationwide are expected to receive new funding for essential works such as changing rooms and lighting via a new round of the Capital Sports Programme.