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A fund  set up to assist a number of tourism and arts events in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area has been given the go-ahead. Tourism Event funding has been previously offered to Events who have contributed to increasing visitors to the area, but the pandemic stopped that in its tracks.

Members of the Enterprise Regeneration and Tourism committee made a decision to set aside almost £150,000 for financial assistance for events taking place in the area between September 2021 and March 2022.

Iúr Cinn Fleadh in Newry was one of the recipients of Tourism Event funding in Newry in 2019. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/
Iúr Cinn Fleadh in Newry was one of the recipients of Tourism Event funding in Newry in 2019. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/

The council said that the money, which is within the current financial budget, would open to applications in the coming weeks.

All applicants must demonstrate that their event shows strict adherence to Covid-19 regulations, NMD Council said.

In a report issued to members of the committee on June 14, it says that tourism and arts events will ‘play a crucial role in the rebuilding of local tourism and the economy’.

Applicants will be expected to work alongside the council to ensure the safe delivery of all planned events and will be able to avail of a maximum of £15,000.

Sinn Fein’s Roisin Mulgrew backed the report saying that it was time to plan ahead for life after the pandemic.

The Newry councillor added: “I would welcome this report and would be happy to propose the recommendation

“We need to get things moving and we need to support all of the fringe businesses.

“We need to get the world starting again and obviously I would support the council that [these events] would need to be done in a safe and timely manner.

“It’s good that we are opening this up and it will give a level of comfort to those businesses who have really struggled over the last year.”

SDLP councillor Michael Savage also welcomed the report. He added: “It’s important that our hospitality sector gets back on its feet with as much support as possible.

“These fringe businesses within the district’s locality that have these local festivals depend on the revenue that comes from these events and anything that we can do to stimulate growth and put a smile back on the faces of our people I will support.”

The decision will be up for ratification at the full Council meeting in July.

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