Tourism chiefs have pulled funding for Northern Ireland’s most high-profile events.
The Tourism Events Fund, which provides hundreds of thousands of pounds in funding for events such as the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival and Culture Night Belfast, has been pulled for 2015/16.
The announcement leaves dozens of festivals facing shortfalls running to tens of thousands of pounds.
Meanwhile, organisers of Culture Night Belfast told Access that the annual event, which draws thousands of visitors to the city every September, would face serious difficulties if the funding does not go ahead.
The Northern Ireland Tourist Board said the fund had been cancelled for the 2015/16 financial as a result of “ongoing budgetary pressures across government”.
The Tourism Events Fund contributed to 76 events during the current financial year, according to NITB documents, with funding topping £2.4m.
The funding, guaranteed this financial year – until next March – but unavailable from this date next year, covers financing including £30,000 to Culture Night Belfast; £27,000 to the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival; £30,000 to the St Patrick’s Festival in Downpatrick and £30,000 to Derry’s Walled City Tattoo.
Events that benfitted from funding from The Tourism Events Fund include:
- Belfast Film Festival
- Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival
- City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival
- Festival of Fools 2014
- Walled City Tattoo
- Northern Ireland Countryside Festival
- Bangor Seashore Festival
- Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup
- Maiden City Festival 2014
- Ulster Rally
- Disability Pride
- Belfast Mela 2014
- Hillsborough International Oyster Festival 2014
- NI International Airshow 2014
- Culture Night Belfast
- Belfast Restaurant Week
- Food and Drink Show NI
- Halloween Carnival Derry
- Out to Lunch