Events face grant cuts

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Events face grant cuts thumbnailThe Heart of the Glens Festival is in line for a funding cut, as well as the annual potato festival. CC08-13s

CAUSEWAY Coast and Glens councillors have voted to cut grants to organisers of popular summer events.
Among the events hit are the Heart of the Glens Festival, Ballymoney Show, the Stendhal Festival, the Foyle Cup and Pirates off Portrush.
Organisers will be offered a total of 62,000 instead of the 104,000 requested.
The decision to reduce funding by 30 percent was taken by the council's Leisure and Development Committee on Tuesday evening.
The move came as a result of last week's commitment to freeze domestic rates in 2018 which reduced the council's budget by 1.8m.
Sinn Fein, whose members opposed the freeze, said the grants cuts were an inevitable consequence of zero percent increase in rates for the third year in succession.
Group leader, Kieran Mulholland said: "This austerity attitude will cripple this organisation."
Despite his party's opposition the grants cut decision was approved by 10 votes to three.
The borough's most high profile events including the NW200, the NI Supercup and Pipe Band Competition escaped reductions in council funding. The committee heard their grants had been ring-fenced for three years in 2015.
However, a number of smaller events are also likely to suffer. They include the Northern Ireland Potato Festival which runs annually at the Giant's Causeway and the Roe Valley Folk Festival.
Meanwhile, a row also broke out over sums allocated to study the economic impact of events.
After commissioning studies on the NW200, the Airshow and the Lammas Fair, officers had placed the Super Cup next on the list.
*Read the full story in this week's Chronicle


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