There are around 36,000 registered sports facilities in Finland, approximately 75% of which are built and maintained by municipalities. Privately-run sport facilities, mainly located in cities and towns, complement the supply of sports facilities in municipalities.
Government grants for sports facilities
The Ministry of Education and Culture and the Regional State Administrative Agencies allocate grants for projects to build sports facilities and related recreational facilities. Most of the financial aid is granted to projects that serve large groups of users, such as swimming pools, gyms and ice rinks, as well as for the construction, renovation or repair of local sport and physical activity facilities.
The Ministry is the government aid authority for projects where the cost estimate exceeds EUR 700,000. The government aid authority for projects with a cost estimate under EUR 700,000 is the pertinent Regional State Administrative Agency.
Projects that become eligible for financial aid are first listed in a four-year financial plan for sport and physical activity facilities. Such plans are only drawn up for projects within the remit of the Ministry of Education and Culture. The plans are indicative and are reviewed each year.
Aid applications are submitted to the Regional State Administrative Agency in question, which arranges the projects in order of priority. The Ministry of Education and Culture drafts a national proposal for all the projects within its remit and requests a statement on the proposals from the National Sports Council.
No more than 30% of the cost estimate (excluding VAT) for a project is granted aid. However, this amount may not exceed EUR 750,000 (no more than EUR 1,000,000 for swimming pools). Aid for nationally significant sports facilities is considered on a case by case basis. A cap on aid is set each year.
- Aid for the construction of sports facilities
- Projects for establishing sports training centres
Publications on sports facilities
Guides on the construction of sports facilities are published in the Ministry of Education and Culture publication series on sports facilities by the Building Information Foundation RTS sr.
The series includes guides on the planning and construction of swimming centres, ice rinks and various types of sports arenas and pitches and fields as well as guides on universal design (accessibility) for sports facilities.
Numerous RT Building Information files, HEVAC Building Services Information files and Infra Information files for the construction of sports facilities have been published in cooperation with the Building Information Foundation.
Research and development
The Ministry of Education and Culture provides assistance for research and development projects where the goal is to improve expertise in the construction of sports facilities and the quality of such constructions and which promote the safety, accessibility and environmental-friendliness of sports facilities.
Research is conducted by research institutes and higher education institutions in the field. The findings are taken into account in urban planning and in the development, planning, construction and use of sports facilities.