Festival funds to go on lights

Cavan County Council is to follow on a decision made last year to reallocate funding that would have gone to support public festivals to Christmas lighting.

Last year, as a once-off scheme for Christmas 2020, Cavan County Council distributed €33,000 in funding to towns and villages in Cavan to meet some of the costs of the provision of Christmas lighting.

The scheme was aimed at increasing the festive atmosphere in towns and villages in Cavan in a difficult year and emphasise the need to stay local and support local businesses. The initiative was to provide a grant to help groups counteract the difficulties of fundraising during Covid restrictions.

At the November meeting of Cavan Belturbet Municipal District, members heard that the initiative will be repeated this year. Outlining details of this year's budget Director of Service, Brendan Jennings said: “€7,000 earmarked for festival grants that did not get used in 2021 because of Covid, that money is now to be reallocated to the Christmas light scheme. It was done in 2020 as a once off, now it is being done as a twice off,” he told members.

Members also heard that environmental, discretionary, playground and community grants have all been retained at the same level they were in 2020.

Business associations, community and voluntary groups involved in the provision of Christmas lighting in towns and villages in Cavan can make the application for support. Funding is provided in the range of €500 to €3,000 per project. The funding will be provided for replacement energy efficient lighting.

Funding can also be used as a contribution towards the purchase of Christmas trees up to a maximum of €300.

ESB connection costs, hire of equipment to erect lights, decorations, extension leads, or batteries are not eligible for funding under the scheme.