Menu

Agenda item

Bidding for International Events

Minutes:

            The Committee considered the undernoted report:

 

“1        Purpose of Report

 

1.1       The purpose of this report is to:

 

(i)     Ask Members to consider the issue of funding for bidding for future international events as requested by the Development Committee at its meeting in December  2014;

(ii)   Consider funding towards a festival in each of the areas transferring from Castlereagh and Lisburn to Belfast;

(iii)Consider two invitations to bid for international events

·        UK National Piping Championships 2016, 2017 and 2018

·        World Irish Dancing Championships 2018

 

2          Key Issues

 

2.1      At the Development Committee meeting October 2014, Members asked the City Events Manager to bring forward a list of potential events which the Council, along with other regional partners, could bid for over the next 5 years.

 

2.2       The City Events Manager presented a paper to the December meeting of the Development Committee setting out a list of international events which had been identified by the City Events unit and other regional partners which, subject to adequate funding, could potentially be secured by the City between 2016 and 2021.  These events are set out in summary form in Table 1 below with the potential costs and benefits detailed in Appendix A, a copy of which has been circulated.

 

            Table 1

 

Year

Event

Cost to Council

Total Cost of the Event

2016

UK National Piping Championships

£180,000

 

£180,000 – totally funded by BCC

*2016

All-Ireland Irish Dancing Championship

£250,000

£250,000 – totally funded by BCC

2017

National Triathlon Series event

£100,000

£200,000

2017

World Music and Dance (WOMAD) Festival

£100,000

£1,700,000

2017

UK National Piping Championships

£180,000

£180,000 – totally funded by BCC

2018

European Triathlon Series event

£200,000

£400,000

2018

World Irish Dancing

£220,000

£400,000

2018

UK National Piping Championships

£180,000

£180,000 – totally funded by BCC

2019

World Triathlon Grand Final

£500,000

£2,000,000

2020

All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil

£500,000

£1,500,000

2021

Commonwealth Youth Games

£500,000

£3,000,000

 

Total Cost

£2,660,000.00

£9,740,000.00

 

                     *This event has been agreed at a cost of £250,000 as per decision of Council November 2010.

 

2.3       Since 1999 Belfast City Council in partnership with a range of Government departments has been successful in bidding for, securing and delivering a range of international events for the City. These events include the IAAF World Cross-Country Championships, the IABA World Amateur Boxing Championships, the UEFA Under 19 European Football Championship, the IRB Under 19 Rugby World Cup, Sail Training International’s Tall Ships Races, Viacom’s MTV EMAs, the World Police and Fire Federation’s World Police and Fire Games, RCS Sports’ Giro d’Italia and various national and international competitions connected to the World Irish Dancing Commission.

 

2.4       It is recognised that hosting large-scale international and national events has a very positive impact on cities in terms of economic return to the business community, enhancing the civic involvement of local communities and building pride and confidence in their city and promoting a positive image globally to potential visitors and investors.  Examples of the benefits to Belfast of recent events include:

·        Tall Ships 2009 generated £16 million for the local economy;

·        The Giro d’Italia created a skills programme for over 1500 volunteers and had an audience of 375,000 people;

·        MTA Music  Awards was viewed by an estimated 1.2 billion people and generated 669 million media opportunities;

·        The World Police and Fire Games attracted 7,000 athletes from 50 countries with an economic return of £3.6 million.

 

2.5       The Development Committee noted that whilst the list of events set out in Appendix A have been agreed with other Government bodies, the cuts to budgets such as the NITB Events Fund means that there is no guarantee the funding required to secure these events will be available in future years.

 

2.6       In previous years international events have been funded through a specified reserve.  This reserve had been built up over a number of years from in-year corporate  re-allocations.  This fund is sufficient to meet the costs of events planned for the 2015/16   however, consideration will have to be given as to how international events are to be funded from 2016 onwards if the Council wish to host one major international event each year as proposed in the Belfast Strategic Tourism Framework.

 

2.7       The Development Committee also asked that the Shadow Strategic Policy and Resources Committee consider two invitations to bid for events which will require responses in early February and early March namely –

 

·        UK National Piping Championships 2016, 2017 and 2018;

·        World Irish Dancing Championships 2018

 

2.8       UK National Piping Championships 2016/18

 

            The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association has invited the Council to bid to host the UK National Piping Championships for a 3-year period commencing Summer 2016 through to 2018.  This follows on from an unsuccessful bid to secure the World Championships over the same period.

 

            The projected cost to the Council to secure the Championships is £180,000 per annum.

 

2.9       World Irish Dance Championships (WIDC)

 

            The cost of hosting the WIDC is estimated to be £400,000 with £220,000 required from Belfast City Council.

 

2.10     City Events and Festivals

            Historically the Development Department organises and manages a range of city events and festivals.  On average the City Events Team delivers twelve large-scale public events which are aimed, in the first instance, at the City’s residents.  These events include the St. Patrick’s Day Festival, Halloween Celebrations and the Christmas Lights Switch On.

 

            The Council’s Tourism, Culture and Arts Unit also provides grant funding of £1.55m  to a range of organisations to deliver a city-wide programme of events and festival including a number of the City’s flagship events including Feile an Phobal, Culture Night, Belfast Festival at Queen’s and the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.  The grants are distributed through two specific grant programmes, ie the Cultural Multi-Annual Fund (£1.4m) and the Community Festival Fund (£150K, 50% of which comes from DCAL).

 

2.11     Areas Transferring to Belfast City Council from Castlereagh and Lisburn

 

            As a result of the Council’s investment a strong and vibrant Culture and Arts infrastructure has been developed across the City creating a capacity to deliver events at both a city and neighbourhood level.  The areas which are due to transfer from Lisburn and Castlereagh, however, have not enjoyed the same level of investment in the Culture and Arts sector as has been the case in the current Belfast area.  As a result, there is unlikely to be the same level of community festival and arts activity in these areas without the support of Belfast based organisations.  In order to fill the void, which will be experienced in these areas during the first year following transfer, Members may wish to allocate the non-recurrent funding to Feile an Phobal and Eastside Arts to deliver festivals in these areas in the 2015/16 financial year.

 

2.12     Subvention Funds for International Conferences

 

            With the opening of the new Conference and Exhibition Centre Belfast will have the potential to attract large scale international conferences to the City.  In essence these are international events in their own right. This is a highly competitive market place in which Belfast will have to compete with cities across the globe. Other cities such as Dublin, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Glasgow have subvention funds of around £500k annually which they use to attract these conferences to their city. Historically Visit Belfast has had a subvention fund of £140k per annum, funded equally by BCC and NITB. Moving forward it will be important that other potential funders are brought to the table including Invest NI and possibly the Airports and Universities to help the city compete. It is recommended that BCC commission a piece of work to develop a City Subvention Fund with other stakeholders to coincide with the opening of the WFH in 2016. 

 

2.13     Future Strategy and Funding

 

            Given the resource pressures across both the Council and other public sector bodies the Development Committee agreed that a strategic review of events and how they might be funded in the future should be undertaken.  The Committee also expressed the view that any such review should take account of the recommendations within the Belfast Integrated Tourism Framework and the social and economic impact of the events to be supported.

3.0       Resource Implications

 

3.1      The Council has already secured the All Ireland Dancing Championships in 2016 at a cost of £250,000 following approval by the Council to bid in November 2010.

3.2       If the specific bids set out in Paragraph 2.2 above were to be approved and successful the following resources would be required:

 

Year

Cost

Event

2016

£250,000

£180,000

All Ireland Dancing Championships

UK Piping Championships

2017

£180,000

UK Piping Championships

2018

£180,000

£220,000

UK Piping Championships

World All Ireland Dancing Championships

 

3.3       £200K has been identified within the Non-Recurrent Expenditure Requirements Report 2014/15 and 2015/16  to be allocated for the deliver community festival activity in the new areas transferring from Castlereagh and Belfast during 2015/16 by Eastside Arts and Feile an Phobal along with the costs associated with a Strategic Review of Events and Festivals.

 

3.4       The cost of conducting a strategic review of Events and Festivals should not exceed £30K.

 

4.0       Equality Implications

 

            As with all major civic events, public events like those listed have the potential to bring together people from a wide range of backgrounds and, therefore, promote good relations in the City.

 

5.0       Recommendations

 

5.1       Members are requested to:

 

·        Note the work being undertaken to secure international events for the City;

·        Agree that a Strategic Review of Events and Festivals be commissioned and that the Director of Development be given authority to appoint a consultant upon evaluation of quotations;

·        Agree to the development of a City Subvention Fund with other stakeholders;

·        Consider allocating £200K from non-current funding to finance the following:-

 

Eastside Arts and Feile an Phobal delivering community festival activity in the new areas transferring from Castlereagh and Belfast during 2015/16;

 

A strategic review of Events and Festivals outlined above;

The development of a Belfast Conference Subvention Fund.

 

·        Note that following the strategic review consideration will have to be given as to how international events are funded from financial year 2016/17 onwards;

·        Consider the specific invitations to bid for the UK National Dancing Championships (2016 to 2018) and the World Irish Dancing Championships 2018).”

 

            The Committee adopted the recommendations and agreed to accept the invitations to bid for the UK National Dancing Championships (2016-2018) and the World Irish Dance Championship 2018.

 

 

Contact us
Democratic Services
028 9027 0497
Democratic Services
Belfast City Hall
Belfast
BT1 5GS