Cats have last laugh as iconic Kilkenny festivals get €126,000 funding boost
THREE iconic Kilkenny festivals have received a significant funding boost.
Fáilte Ireland has allocated a total of €126,000 to Cat Laughs, the Arts Festival and Kilkenny Animated as part of its 2019 Regional Festivals & Participative Events Programme.
Confirmation of the funding will come as welcome news for the three landmark festivals, which combine to attract record crowds into Kilkenny city and county each year.
Cat Laughs will receive €21,000, the Arts Festival will get €75,000, while Kilkenny Animated will receive a €30,000 boost.
Welcoming the funding, Minister and Kilkenny TD John Paul Phelan said: “This grant aid will boost tourist numbers and should increase the footfall to our local businesses here in Kilkenny for yet another year. This funding will be provided by Fáilte Ireland to local festivals which apply to its Regional Festivals and Participative Events Programme.
“The programme is reviewed every year with a view to generating incremental visitor growth and revenue. Festivals and events are critical for tourism growth as they specifically attract more than 200,000 overseas visitors to Ireland and contribute more than €108 million to the economy every year.
“These festivals really add to the character of the area and are great for generating community spirit. The allocation of funding will be used to enhance existing festivals, develop new festival ideas and support St. Patrick’s Day celebrations here in Kilkenny,” Minister Phelan said.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin, said: “With many challenges on the horizon for tourism, this announcement is a welcome start to 2019.
“Not only do festivals and events play an important role in delivering brilliant visitor experiences, they often encourage people to visit areas outside of traditional tourism hotspots and outside of peak times, helping to spread the benefits of tourism to communities throughout Ireland.”
Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly added: “The festivals funded today will anchor tourism activity in their localities which is hugely important for local revenue and local jobs.”