Northern Ireland launches event funding programme

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has launched a funding programme to support local and international events taking place between April 2014 and March 2015.

Belfast: Northern Ireland launches event funding programme
Belfast: Northern Ireland launches event funding programme

The annual Tourism Event Funding Programme for events organisers is designed to drive visitor numbers, increase spend in the local economy and raise the profile of Northern Ireland.

There are two funding streams available to event organisers through the new programme, which will open on 9 September. 

The International Tourism Events Fund will move to a three-year rolling framework supporting major events that attract a high level of international visitors, gain international media coverage and deliver a return on investment of at least 5:1.

The Tourism Events Sponsorship Scheme will support national events that contribute to a specific geographical area of Northern Ireland and will have a simplified application process. 

Speaking at the launch, tourism minister Arlene Foster said: "World class events are now firmly established within the tourism fabric of Northern Ireland, adding to the positive perceptions of our destination and contributing to building our international profile.

"We can already look forward to the prestigious Giro d’Italia in May 2014 and the Tall Ships returning in 2015. It is important that we keep the momentum going and look to stage further events, festivals and activities that will inspire people to come to Northern Ireland.

"The events industry has a central role to play in generating visitors. This simplified funding package presents public, private and voluntary organisations with a great opportunity to give people more reasons to come and spend their time, and their money, in Northern Ireland."

NITB will host a series of road shows in Belfast, Portrush, Londonderry, Enniskillen and Newcastle in September to provide full details on the new programme, which will include the changes made to this year’s scheme.

Susie McCullough, director of business support and events at the Northern Ireland Tourist Board said: "This year, after consultation with industry and partners, we have made significant changes to the programme, including a simplified and streamlined application process. Events will benefit from greater flexibility and there will be more opportunities for new events to apply." 

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