Northern Ireland news

Future of Portrush Air Show remains in doubt after funding cut

The future of the Portrush Air Show remains in doubt. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

THE future of the Portrush Air Show remained in doubt last night after funding for the popular event was cut.

Councillors on the debt-ridden Causeway Coast and Glens borough council withdrew the £240,000 funding for the annual aviation show, which is regarded as a flagship event for tourism along the north coast.

It was one of several cost-cutting proposals to tackle the £68.7m debt faced by the council.

However, while funding has been cut by the council for the airshow, there was no official statement from the organisers of the event last night about whether it would still go ahead.

Elected representatives spent several hours of Wednesday night discussing how they were going to implement cuts of £2.2 million.

Other decisions discussed was the closure of Waterworld in Portrush at a saving of £80,000 and reduced funding for the maintenance of facilities at Garvagh Forest Trail to save £32,000.

Sinn Féin councillor Cara McShane last night said it was "sad that things have come to this".

However, councillors said there would be no cuts to the funding for the Riverside Theatre in Coleraine, the annual Portrush Pipe Band competition and there would be no increases to Lammas Fair stallholders.

Also during Wednesday's meeting no rates were set, with an increase of more than eight per cent proposed.

Councillors were last night due to reconvene again to strike a rate for the incoming financial year with the deadline of tomorrow for all local authorities to have set their rate.

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