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UCIT Launches £4M Dedicated Sports Fund

13th March 2018



UCIT Launches £4M Dedicated Sports Fund


Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT) has ‘kicked off’ a dedicated £4m fund for sporting organisations seeking finance.

UCIT, one of the UK’s largest providers of social finance, has already provided £7m to 70 clubs across Ireland, helping deliver new training facilities, clubhouses and state-of-the-art pitches.  Recent beneficiaries have included Naomh Pól CLG in Belfast.  Phelim Sharvin, Associate Director of UCIT, said:

“The way in which funded has changed rapidly over the past decade.  With less grant funding from Government available and less capacity from high street banks, groups are increasingly relying on social finance. 

“UCIT can provide sporting clubs with a bespoke service to help them access finance which takes into account the needs of the sector.  Tailored finance is available to support a wide range of purposes including property acquisition, capital build projects, equipment purchase and restructuring of existing debt. 

“Often the loan may match grant funding secured from a funder such as SportNI or a local council. Crucially, the repayment schedule is closely matched to the varied revenues from a social club, member’s subscriptions, patron schemes and fundraising events.

“Our vision is to work with clubs to help them remain as a hub at the heart of their local communities.” 

UCIT has supported a number of GAA clubs including Naomh Pól CLG in west Belfast.  The financial assistance, with further support from a range of other funders, has facilitated the construction of a 3G facility and a standing terrace for the main playing pitch.


Caroline McLaughlin, Project Officer, Naomh Pól CLG, said:

“As a club we are moving forward and are delighted with our new facilities to support our continued success.  This wouldn’t have been possible, however, without financial support from UCIT.  As an organisation they backed us at a time when the club needed assistance.  We couldn’t recommend UCIT highly enough and would urge other clubs to consider their funding opportunities.”

Since its inception in 2001, UCIT, which is a registered charity, has provided loan commitments totalling over £60m to over 400 third sector organisations in Northern Ireland.  Clients include sports clubs, community associations, charities, green energy projects, faith-based organisations and arts projects.

Other sports clubs supported by UCIT include Carryduff GAC, Glenullin GAC and the Torrent Complex in Donaghmore.

Further information is available by contacting UCIT on 028 9031 5003 or visiting

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