Applications for funding are being sought by Westmeath County Council under the Community Tourism Initiative for the Diaspora.
The initiative, now in its second year, builds on the community involvement legacy of The Gathering 2013 and is a joint partnership between Westmeath County Council, IPB Insurance, and Fáilte Ireland.
Last year, 11 local events were supported in Westmeath, attracting up to 390 visitors from overseas. The festivals funded last year included Tar Abhaile Westmeath, Townspark Vintage Club Field Day, Mullingar Ryder Cup 2014, and Gather the Family. The scheme provides a national fund of €1m to support local community-based events and festivals each year.
Announcing this year’s funding, chief executive of Westmeath County Council, Pat Gallagher, said: “We all witnessed the benefits from The Gathering and this scheme gives us an opportunity to build on its legacy. The Community Tourism Initiative allows us to sustain many of the grass roots networks which sprang to life during The Gathering in Westmeath and sustain an infrastructure of events and relationships which will have long-term tourism and social benefits for this region for many years to come.
“I would urge anyone out there with a good idea or interesting event, which would help us to reach out to the diaspora, to get in touch with us and make an application.”
Westmeath County Council is now accepting applications in order to determine those local events with the best potential are able to go ahead.
The application process for 2015 is now open and will close on Friday April 17. Interested parties can contact Community Development, Westmeath County Council, Áras an Chontae, Mullingar, email [email protected], or call (044 ) 9332217 to apply. Further information and application forms are available on www.westmeathcoco.ie