The organisers of local festivals and events are being urged to apply for funding through a new Westmeath County Council grant scheme.
The Festival and Event Grant Scheme will see almost €100,000 in funding made available to local groups interested in advancing festivals and events in the county in 2016. The aim of the scheme is to encourage and promote local festivals and events that involve significant voluntary input, and generate increased economic activity for the local area.
Funding support will be up to a maximum of 50 per cent of costs incurred. It is intended to have two calls for applications during the year, in January and again in May. Festivals which are scheduled for the first half of the year should apply now.
Applications for grants should be received by Westmeath County Council prior to Friday, January 29, 2016.
Announcing the initiative, cathaoirleach of Westmeath County Council, Cllr Paul Daly, said, “Westmeath is fortunate to have a large number of active community groups interested in promoting their area. Festivals and events are important in mobilising community activity, increasing visitor numbers, and generating much-needed income for towns and villages. Organising and running such festivals requires significant voluntary input and finance. It is proposed that this grant scheme will encourage and assist these local groups.”
Independent councillor Michael O’Brien welcomed the allocation: “Festivals and events make a huge contribution to local communities and economies in Westmeath. They bring communities together and create increased footfall in towns and villages. Moate Christmas Market is a good example of this; it was an event that brought thousands of people into the town and created a lot of economic activity.
“This fund is great news for local groups thinking of organising an event in 2016, and for those existing events and festivals like triAthlone, Athlone River & Food Festival, and the All Ireland Drama festival, it gives them an opportunity to develop their events further.”
Further information and application forms are available on the Westmeath County Council website at www.westmeathcoco.ie or by contacting the Community Development Section, Westmeath County Council, Áras an Chontae, Mullingar on (044 ) 9332217 or [email protected].