Moyle Community Festivals and Tourist Event Funds

26 02 2014

Funding Direction

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has urged the Tourism and Community Event organisers to avail of the  the Moyle Tourism Events Fund and Community Festivals Fund which will open next week and close on the Monday 31st March.

Tourism Event Fund:

The Tourism Event Fund seeks to provide financial support for events that align themselves to the key priority areas as outlined in the Tourism Handbook 2011-2015. These priority areas are as follows; Cultural tourism, Food tourism and Sports and activities (tourism related).

 The event must also meet the following objectives;

  • Generate economic benefits for the Moyle area through increased visitor numbers and spend
  • Encourage events to extend the tourism season
  • Demonstrate the capacity to grow in terms of spectator and participant numbers and media profile
  • Enhance the visitor experience
  • Enhance the profile and appeal of the Moyle area

 Community Festivals Fund:

The primary purpose of the Community Festivals Fund is to improve the capacity of community festivals and make them less reliant on public funding by providing support and training in addition to funding towards the cost of the events. The Fund enables community organisations to celebrate their cultural identity and to strengthen community relations.  In 2008, the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) transferred funds to the 26 Local Authorities to administer to community festivals.  Moyle District Council matches the funding from DCAL and has developed a Community Festivals Fund Grant Programme through which it can provide financial assistance to community festivals in the Moyle District.

 A Community Festival is typically a series of different events with a common theme. The Festival must be initiated and led by a community organisation or a community led partnership.  The community must play a strong part in the development and delivery of the Festival and the Festival should be open to and encourage participation from all sections of the community.  There are two types of community that may apply:

  • geographical communities – villages, neighbourhoods, districts or rural areas
  • community of interest – a group of people with a common interest or concern

 Council has split the Community Festivals Fund into 2 categories of event:

 Small Festivals – one and two day Festivals. Fun day type events are eligible but should be programmed to take place over at least 5 hours and have a range of activities.

 Large Festivals – Festivals lasting 3 days or more and attracting at least 15,000 participants/ spectators overall. Applicants will be required to prove that their event has attracted these numbers of people.

Shin Dong-hyuk – his personal story

23 02 2014
Hear the story of the only person to have been born in a North Korean political prison who has ever escaped.


Moyle misses out on Social Investment Funding

20 02 2014

Funding Direction

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Donal Cunningham has expressed his disappointment that the Moyle area has missed out in the first tranche of funding from the Social Investment Fund.

Councillor Cunningham acknowledged good projects had received funding, but said Moyle had seen nothing from the Assembly Executive.

Cllr Cunningham said: “Almost three years after the £80 million fund was announced in March 2011 – an election year – this money lay unspent by OFMDFM before the first announcements of funding were made in February 2014 – another election year.

“While I accept and welcome the funding for some good projects in other areas, this does not disguise the folly of OFMDFM controlling the Social Investment Fund and the failure of the OFMDFM to deliver.

“The SDLP very much supports money going into areas of need, but the Social Investment Fund is, and continues to be, seen as a half-baked and ill-judged intervention.

“Moyle has seen nothing from the Assembly Executive. Moyle is part of a bigger “Northern” regional group, for which only one project in Coleraine received funding.

“In the face of Westminster cuts, investing wisely is more important than ever, and capital investment projects are the only effective way of stimulating the economy. Yet, despite rising unemployment and the struggle that faces many families, the Assembly Executive has failed to bring forward a single new investment project which would benefit Moyle. Investment is what is needed for the Moyle economy.”

Durkan calls for action on excessive default fees

14 02 2014


SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has called on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to take urgent action in response to the growing problem of excessive default fees charged by payday loan companies and other lenders.

Mr Durkan, who sits on the Consumer Rights Bill committee at Westminster, said: “I have been supporting the different efforts by politicians and consumer rights groups (including the Charter to Stop the Payday Loan Rip-off and the Which? Clean Up Credit campaign), as well as putting pressure on the government to address the issue of  disproportionately high fees being charged by payday loan companies and other lenders if borrowers default on loans.

“Importantly, recent research published by the Competition Commission has found that more than a third of payday loan customers repay their debt late and incur default fees.

“I am therefore calling on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to take urgent action to clamp down on excessive charges and irresponsible lending, and to make sure that borrowers are being treated fairly whatever form of credit they are using.”

Cunningham welcomes rates freeze

11 02 2014

Pound Coins Stack 

Moyle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham says businesses and residents will welcome the decision by Moyle Council to freeze rates.

Councillor Dónal Cunningham said: “This is a good news story for residents and businesses that have faced considerable financial pressure because of the economic downturn.

“The unanimous decision by Council for a zero rate increase, in effect a 2% decrease when you take inflation into consideration, shows that Council is responding to needs of Moyle ratepayers.

 “Council will continue to examine finances even further to see how greater efficiency saving can be made. It is also important that the NI Executive recognises the steps we have taken and does all it can do to minimise the impact of rate increases.”

Cllr Cunningham said: “Despite the freeze in the rates, Council is still able to deliver improved services for Moyle. We are hoping to deliver on major Forestry Projects as well as improvements to other harbour, tourist and visitor facilities. We will also seek to improve sporting and leisure facilities throughout the area.”

Councillor Cunningham is also hopeful that Council will use the powers available to it to support a pilot project aimed at tackling fuel poverty and energy efficiency. “Council must demonstrate leadership in tough economic times. With the new power of planning, regeneration and community planning coming to local government it is important that Moyle positions itself so that we will be able to do so much more to shape our district, support business and tackle disadvantage.”

Cunningham welcomes proposed 20mph legislation

5 02 2014



Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has commended party colleague Pat Ramsey MLA for the progress made on the Private Members Bill which would see the speed limit on residential unclassified streets reduce from 30mph to 20mph.

 Mr Ramsey presented his proposed legislation to the Assembly’s Regional Development committee on Wednesday morning.

 Councillor Cunningham who has been a strong supporter of the local “Twenty is plenty” campaign and welcomed the pilot 20mph scheme being introduced in the Whitehall area of Ballycastle.

 “The main elements of the scheme at Whitehall will consist of the introduction of a 20mph speed limit in the Whitehall area without the addition of traffic calming features. The scheme aims to manage vehicle speeds and driver behaviour.”

“I believe that by reducing the speed limit on designated restricted roads we could act positively to reduce collisions and fatalities on our roads. Road injuries are amongst the leading causes of loss of life and disability worldwide, and regionally, a reduction in road related death and injury is a major aim of public policy.

“Guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommended the introduction of 20mph speed limits and zones as an important way of improving safety

“The proposed legislation allows for the Department of Regional Development to issue exemptions for roads which may be unclassified, but that are major thoroughfares, which would allow roads to retain 30mph status.”