A festival that draws tens of thousands of people into Sligo during one of the quietest times of the year could be in jeopardy if its funding from Sligo County Council is cut.
One of the organisers of the festival, Sligo Live, has described the funding as ‘an investment’ for the town and county.
Meanwhile, the amount of funding that one of the region’s major arts and cultural centres could draw down from national sources may also be hit if its funding is not restored..
Sligo County Council received 41 applications under the Contributions to the Arts Grants Scheme, which has a budget of €272,000.
An assessment panel has now recommended to the council that 29 applicants receive funding.
It’s proposed to give €8,000 to the Sligo Live Festival, a reduction from €10,000 from last year.
Meanwhile, it’s recommended The Model in Sligo get €90,000, a cut of €3,000.
The amount The Model gets affects how much it can later draw down from other sources, such as the Arts Council.
But Sligo councillors heard at their monthly meeting yesterday that the reduction would put the future of Sligo Live in jeopardy.
Because the budget for the Contributions to the Arts Scheme is fixed, any increase in funding for one group could lead to a reduction for other smaller festivals and events throughout the county, a possibility that worried some councillors.
Councillors have now decided to adjourn making a decision on the grants for a month.
In the meantime, representatatives of Sligo Live are to meet with the council, which will investigate if additional money can be got under any another scheme.
Rory O Connor, co-organiser of Sligo Live, told Ocean FM News why it’s critical they receive the funding they require: