Updated: 10/04/18 : 14:30:41
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Council asked to streamline Arts & Community funding

The Vice Chairman of Sligo County Council has called for its arts and community funding to be more streamlined and applicant friendly. Ballymote Fianna Fáil Councillor Keith Henry tabled his motion at the full Council meeting in response to a number of issues he identified in the various arts and festival grants.

“There are several different schemes with what appear to be small differences in some of them. This leads to far more paperwork for the community groups to fill in and more work for already under pressure Council staff” Cllr Henry said.

“There are different deadlines, different forms yet many of the groups seem to be applying for more than one grant and receiving funding. Yet there are groups out there who don’t succeed in getting any funding for valuable projects because they may not be as well versed in the application process. This is particularly so for arts and festival groups located outside of Sligo town” he added.

Cllr Henry who is a member of the Corran Players in Ballymote and is Sligo GAA’s Cultural Officer concluded that “If there’s any way of merging grants or having similar deadlines it should be done. I also think that there should be a workshop for groups who wish to apply as it’s often a case of knowing how to apply gets you over the line.

"I was involved with three applications for Arts funding for groups who had never applied before and it’s a cumbersome enough task to organise these events without having to be an expert in writing application. With close to €550,000 being awarded across the different schemes I think it’s time to open it up to more groups around the county, be transparent and democratise the system”.

In response to his motion Ms Dorothy Clarke said that some of the schemes are governed by Department guidelines but that the idea of a workshop was a good one and would be examined.