Since the staging of the North West 200 Road Races on 14th May there has been much speculation and comment focused on Tourism NI’s support for the event.
In a statement this evening it read :
Contrary to reports in various sections of the media that Tourism NI failed to provide financial support for the North West 200, Tourism NI was a very substantial funder of the event in 2022 as has been for many years.
This year the organisers of the NW200 applied to Tourism NI for a grant of £100,000 and received a funding offer for the full amount requested.
Some of the commentary around the event has also suggested that the organisers received no support from Government during the Covid crisis. Those comments were also factually incorrect as Tourism NI provided offers of support totalling £105,000 to the Coleraine and District Motorcycle Club during 2020 and 2021 to support costs incurred over that period.
Like every public sector organisation, Tourism NI has very many demands on its budget from which it must support all areas of Northern Ireland’s growing tourism sector. It has an events budget for this year totalling £1.1m to support a wide range of events across Northern Ireland. The requests which it receives for funding vastly exceed the budget available. This year we are planning to provide funding to thirty seven events with the grant allocation based on the contribution they are likely to make to the local economy.
We would like to be in a position to offer higher levels of support to many of these events but given the pressures on the public finances this is not possible. Tourism NI is however keen to continue to work in partnership with events organisers to help them increase their income through realising the commercial value that events such as the North West 200 undoubtedly have.