Council agrees to draw up new events strategy across borough

Richard Burden

Reporter:

Richard Burden

Email:

richard.burden@ulstergazette.co.uk

ARMAGH City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s economic development and regeneration committee has backed the creation of a new events strategy for Council.

The committee was told an internal review is currently ongoing to baseline events spend across the Council and was made aware that events have been identified as an efficiency saving for the local authority.

With these factors at play, the committee was told it is, “now important that Council examines its approach to event delivery to ensure optimal use of resources and outcomes for the citizens of the borough’.

As such, officers made the recommendation for the Council to commission an events strategy for Council for the next five years.

The estimated cost of this strategy should not, the report notes, exceed £29,000.

UUP councillor, Sam Nicholson said it was great to see an over-arching view would be taken by Council in relation to all events and proposed the recommendation.

“No doubt events, from the small ones to the big ones, are very important,” said Cllr Nicholson.

“It is great to see an over-arching view of all that. I will be very interested to find out what has been working and what has not.

“I think the idea of exploring public private partnerships could be interesting in respect of some of these events and look forward to the proposed strategy coming before the committee.”

SDLP group leader, Councillor Thomas O’Hanlon seconded the proposal and while noting that Council does events really well, urged organisers to pursue organic growth of all the events it facilitates.

“We do events really well but it is important that if it is events like Buskfest in Banbridge or the Georgian Festival in Armagh that these festivals are location based and high quality,” he said.

“Stretching these events across the borough does not work. Capacity building is important but the Georgian Festival in Armagh grew naturally over a period of time to what it is today.

“There is no reason we can’t have similar types of events in our towns and we can use our experience to help community, voluntary and business sectors help these events grow together.

“I am happy to second this proposal but want to stress that it is important we focus on the quality of the events not the scale of the events.”

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