Council approves over €100,000 support package for community led festivals and events

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Darren Hassett

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Darren Hassett

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Vital funding

The elected members of Carlow County Council on Monday approved €104,250 worth of supports to County Carlow community led festivals, events and venues for 2019.

The community, festival, event and tourism venue grant scheme aims to promote and support local festivals and to support and assist those events that have a tourism focus which feature a cultural/artistic or community ethos.

A total of 23 festivals and events will receive support under the scheme which is rolled out by Carlow County Council's Local Enterprise Office with support of the Arts, Community & Amenity sections with three community led tourism venues also receiving support funded by Carlow County Council and Failte Ireland.

See the full list below:

Speaking about the support package approved by members, Cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council Brian O'Donoghue said: "We are delighted to support this funding to community led tourism festivals , events and venues and we look forward to working with our communities in creating an enhanced visitor and resident experience which will in turn benefit all."

He added: "I congratulate all the communities who were awarded funding today which at the core want to create a family and community experience in their area."

Bernie O’Brien, Director of Services with Carlow County Council, said: "The Festivals, Events & Venue scheme is designed to support festivals and events which have put in place the conditions to create sustainable experiences for all and we commend the community and voluntary effort by all groups who will benefit from this fund."

She added: "We in Carlow County Council in partnership with Failte Ireland are committed to providing support to these groups which in turn will result in an economic , social and cultural benefit to the county."

The Tourism Sector is a major benefactor of the Festival & Event scheme, and Cllr John Murphy , Chairperson of Carlow Tourism said: "Supporting our Tourism Enterprises is essential in these challenging times for the sector and sustainable festivals and events which support consumer spending in our tourism and hospitality establishments around the county is essential."

He added: "The tourism sector is an essential provider of employment and the importance of creating real visitor experiences for a variety of different users as part of Irelands Ancient East is of paramount importance in order to capitalize on this sector."

Outlining the next steps, Kieran Comerford, Head of Enterprise said: "We are delighted with the increased level of engagement in this scheme which supports the vision for creating new, sustainable festivals and events in County Carlow.

"In April we will meet each grant awardee in order to explain the grant process and the conditions and supports which will provided as part of the scheme."

A briefing session for successful grants will be held in April 2019.

The 2020 call for festivals and events will be held in December 2020 (subject to budget) and for further information on the Festival & Event Scheme contact Helen Ryan on hryan@carlowcoco.ie or call 059-9129783.