Cork County Council launches ‘Local Festival Fund’ grant scheme

A total of €65,000 is available and applicants can apply for funding up to a maximum of €6,000 per festival.
Cork County Council launches ‘Local Festival Fund’ grant scheme

Back row, from left: Michelle Dunne, Spike Island Literary Festival; Ann-Marie Simpson, Doneraile Samhain Festival; Barry O’Brien, Ballydehob Country Music Festival; Cllr. Danny Collins, Mayor of the County of Cork; Sharon Conroy, Eimear O’ Neill, Rose Carroll, Jamie Cuthbert, all Cork County Council. Front row, from left: Myra Ryall, Doneraile Samhain Festival; Eddie Hodnett, Ballydehob Country Music Festival; Andrew Cullinane, Cork County Council and Ray O’C Callaghan, Doneraile Samhain Festival. Pic: Brian Lougheed

Cork County Council have launched a new funding scheme for festivals in 2023.

The local authority are inviting applications for funding under the Cork County Local Festival Fund 2023, a competitive grant scheme to support the development of festivals that drive domestic tourism in Cork County and help to improve the visitor experience.

A total of €65,000 is available and applicants can apply for funding up to a maximum of €6,000 per festival.

Welcoming the opening of the scheme, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Danny Collins said: "I am delighted to announce that the Cork County Local Festival Fund 2023 is now open and will enable the hosting of some of Cork’s best and most unique festivals in the months ahead. Not only are festivals an important part of our cultural identity, but they are also significant economic drivers. 

"As well as entertaining and bringing local communities together, local festivals have the potential to attract thousands of visitors to experience all that Cork County has to offer."

75% of funding under the grant scheme is provided by Fáilte Ireland, with Cork County Council providing match funding of 25%.

Ciara Sugrue, Head of Festivals at Fáilte Ireland, said: "Festivals and events play a key role in delivering brilliant visitor experiences, providing a unique reason for visitors to choose a destination and increasing footfall for local businesses, supporting jobs and revenue generation. Domestic tourism will be hugely important again this year as we work towards recovery. 

"Managed by Cork County Council, the Local Festival Fund will support festivals that drive domestic demand and enhance the visitor experience across Cork County."

A festival may be eligible for funding under the Local Festival Fund, if it is held within the boundaries of Cork County, attracts domestic visitors, improves the visitor experience and generates a minimum of 250 visitor bed-nights in paid accommodation.

The festival must also have a minimum expenditure of €7,500 and demonstrate a commitment to sustainable best practices.

Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey added: "Cork County Council has this year placed an increased emphasis in the Local Festival Fund application process for festivals that consciously reduce their impact on the environment."

Support measures will be delivered to help festivals to reach this goal.

Online applications close on January 19.

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