The Causeway Coast and Glens Tourism Partnership will cease trading on March 31 amid uncertainty over future funding.
Chairman Diane Poole OBE described the decision as “deeply regrettable” and blamed “a combination of financial factors.”
She stated: “Since its launch, core funding for Causeway Coast and Glens Tourism Partnership has originated with the local authorities in our region. “However, Causeway Coast and Glens Council recently informed us that the investment in tourism marketing which would previously have been channelled through this organisation, would drop from £120,000 to £100,000, and would be the subject of an open tender process, due for completion in the last week of March.
“We sought but did not receive assurances as to the nature of any future working relationship between Causeway Coast and Glens Council and our other funder, Mid and East Antrim Council. Without confirmation of a continuing partnership between the councils we faced significant and immediate pressures on delivery of the company’s 2015/16 draft operational plan and, furthermore, we recognised that our long-term survival was in jeopardy.
“As a public limited company we are legally bound to trade as a solvent entity and we have to face the fact that existing funds will only cover business until the end of the current financial year. Despite much heartache, the Directors of Causeway Coast and Glens Partnership have no alternative but to decide to cease trading, winding up an organisation which has, over the years, made an outstanding contribution to tourism in our region.”
Ms Poole said that the investment by local government in the Causeway Coast and Glens Tourism Partnership had supported the growth of many tourism-related businesses and facilities and was an important factor in leveraging additional financial support from the private sector.
She added: “Tourism is a growing sector and there is an increasing awareness of the potential benefits it offers to our economy. However the sector must be carefully, consistently and continuously nurtured or much of the good work which has been already been started may come to nothing.”