A Proposal for regenerating Ireland’s historic towns and villages.

AOIFE Online Arts & Culture Sector, News 0 Comments

A programme of events and festivals is one of the best ways of encouraging tourist and locals to visit historic town centres. This year, 48,000 attend IWTN funded events throughout the country. Considering that all the network can provide is € 85,000 and that the events are either run or heavily dependent on unpaid volunteers, this is an outstanding figure. Combined with the fact that several funded festivals have gone on to win National Heritage Week Awards, this is all the more impressive. These results are possible because the network has encouraged – through reflection, mentoring and training – the development of a set of events best suited to the towns and the abilities of the organisers. The economic benefit is remarkable.

In 2008, a KPMG report estimated that the economic benefit to Youghal from its medieval festival was €480,000. A recent survey from two IWTN funded events showed the average personal spend from attendees was € 25 a head. Consequently, even without incorporating an economic multiplier effect, the immediate economic benefit to the towns from the €85,000 invested was € 1.2 million. Without additional funding many of the annual events cannot progress. Despite most obtaining some private sector sponsorship they still need additional help. Remember, the people involved are usually volunteers. We now propose to fulfil the potential of the events by providing additional financial support. The added funding will also be used for new events throughout the enlarged network. In order for the new events to be suitable to the towns and villages, the mentors will enter into discussions with the relevant town teams. Training will also be provided.

Cost: € 300,000 per annum

Benefits:

  • Immediate economic return of at least € 4,500,000.
  • Increasing the level of visitor expenditure.
  • Increasing the length of stay in the town or village.
  • Improving destination awareness.
  • Increasing civic pride.
  • Job creation.

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