16 February 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
Cork County Council today announced that applications for funding are now being sought under the Community Tourism Initiative for the Diaspora. The initiative, launched in 2014, builds on the community involvement legacy of The Gathering 2013 and is a joint partnership between Cork County Council, IPB Insurance and Fáilte Ireland.
Now in its third year, the scheme provides a national fund of €1m to support local community-based events and festivals each year. Last year 22 local events were supported in Cork County attracting up to 1,500 visitors from overseas. The festivals funded last year included:
• Passage West Maritime Heritage Festival, Passage West
• Kildorrery Community Festival, Kildorrery
• Irish Redhead Convention, Crosshaven
• Queen of the Sea Festival, Youghal
• Eyeries Family Festival, Eyeries
• Chief O Neill Traditional Festival, Bantry
Administered locally by the Economic Development and Tourism Directorate of Cork County Council, the application process for 2016 is now open and will close on Friday March 11th 2016. Full details, including guidelines and application forms, are available on www.corkcoco.ie.
Announcing this year’s funding, Cllr John Paul O’Shea, Mayor of the County of Cork emphasised:
“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 Cork County 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.
“For that reason, 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”
Local authorities throughout the country are now accepting applications in order to determine those local events with the best potential to have the impact and long-term potential to make a difference. The initiative is being administered at local level with the grant applications and awards being decided in accordance with agreed national criteria.