Council willing to grant £25,000 for Dalriada Festival

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Larne Borough Council is set to grant £25,000 funding to the annual Dalriada Festival - subject to agreement of the rates committee.

If the committee says the council can afford the award, it will the third year in succession that the council has backed the now-annual summer event at Glenarm - a total of £75,000.

Last week, development committee members agreed the move on the recommendation of director of development Linda McCullough, who reported that last year’s event - featuring pop stars Sharon Corr and Ronan Keating and Highland Games - attracted 18,000 visitors and provided a £500,000 boost to the borough economy. It won the title ‘Best Family Event’ at the National Outdoor Events Awards in Birmingham.

Councillors heard that this year’s event, between July 13-21 in and around Glenarm, would be billed as Northern Ireland’s biggest cultural and heritage festival, featuring major sporting events, international music artists and community events celebrating Glenarm’s unique culture and its links to the ancient kingdom of Dalriada and modern Scotland.

Mrs McCullough said: “Based on past performance, the event will provide additional opportunities for local tourism and positive publicity which will have a beneficial longer term impact on good relations in the borough.”

The officer added: “In terms of benefit to the wider borough, the festival attracted £178,000 of advertising sponsorship from UTV and other media in 2012, highlighting the event and the general Glenarm area in a series of adverts which were shown on prime advertising slots in the weeks running up to the event. In addition, local accommodation providers benefited from the event with an estimated additional visitor spend of £496,000 in the area as a result of the festival.”