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Amendment would see some amateur sports clubs exempt from rates

A Newry and Armagh Assemblyman is encouraging amateur sporting organisations in the area to make submissions to a committee investigating the possibility of a rates relief programme for such groups.

Cathal Boylan said Sinn Fein proposals for an amendment to the 1977 Rates Order would see certain amateur sporting organisations exempt from paying rates.

The Assembly’s Committee for Finance and Personnel is now inviting any organisation or individuals who may have an interest in the proposed Bill to submit written evidence to the Committee.

Mr Boylan said if approved the Bill would not only help sporting organisations but communities in general.

“There is no question about the profound positive effects sport can have on both individuals, in terms of physical and mental health, and communities, in terms of good relations and community spirit,” he said.

“This Bill, while only having a minimal effect on overall rates intake, would provide amateur sporting organisations with a huge boost, allowing them to channel already stretched funds into things like facility upgrades, new equipment and investing in young people.

“This is one of the many practical ways Stormont can make a real difference to communities and produce tangible, on the ground results.

“I’d encourage as many groups as possible to look at the proposals and get their submissions in before the September 2 deadline.”

Submissions can be made by email to committee.financepersonnel@niassembly.gov.uk or by post to Committee Clerk, Room 144, Parliament Buildings, Ballymiscaw, Stormont, Belfast, BT4 3XX.

For further information on the proposals log on to http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/assembly-business/committees/finance-and-personnel/legislation/rates-relief-for-community-amateur-sports-clubs-bill/call-for-evidence or contact the Committee Clerk on 028 9052 1843.

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