Ards Borough Council has helped to secure the expansion of the Ballywalter Game and Country Living Fair with a major grant.
The Council has awarded its maximum premium grant of £20,000 to the 2011 Game Fair, while also sponsoring 34 other events to the tune of £46,000.
The investment in the Game Fair has helped to ensure that the event, organised by The Great Game Fairs of Ireland in a unique partnership with the Ballywalter Park Estate, will extend over two days Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st May 2011, bringing a substantial economic return to the region.
Councillor Angus Carson, Chairman of the Council’s Development Committee, said, “For every pound we invest in the fair, the organisers will invest over £5 and at least £9 will be spent in the Borough. Those are the sort of figures that stack up, demonstrating clearly that an event of this calibre works for the benefit of our local economy,”
Referring to the total event sponsorship that the Council has allocated to a range of events in the coming year, Councillor Carson added,
“Events are a key element of the Council’s tourism development portfolio and each year, the Ards area is building on its reputation for organising unique, quality events which showcase our diverse range of visitor attractions. Our focus is on those which generate both day trip business and increase bed nights. In addition, experience shows us that many of those who visit for events will return at their leisure to explore or to stay, all of which is good news for our economy.”
View last year’s game fair at ballywalyter on the link below:
Welcoming the Council’s support, Albert Titterington of The Great Game Fairs of Ireland, said, “We are delighted not only at the Council’s financial support for the Ballywalter Fair, but also for the endorsement which it demonstrates and we mean to live up to that vote of confidence.
“Our stable of annual specialist events already includes The Irish Game Fair at Shanes Castle which last year broke all records for attendance at an Irish game or country fair and The Irish Game & Country Fair at Birr Castle which is the ROI’s largest game or country fair . . . so we come with unrivalled pedigree! We also come to the project with genuine commitment and with a determination to build the event to make it the second biggest such event in Northern Ireland – following close on the heels of our own, long-established Shanes Castle event.
“From the public perspective, for local people and visitors alike, the event will be an attractive and enjoyable one, with something for all the family, celebrating our rural heritage in a location that is nothing short of stunning. For the country sports enthusiast Ballywalter will deliver competition at the highest international level, coupled with fantastic displays, expert advice and superb retailing. This year we are focusing on a Victorian theme which will add a new dimension to the event, bringing an atmosphere of ‘Downton Abbey’ and recalling the region’s wonderful, rich history. It will be a fabulous package for show-goers, but we are determined to make this an equally fantastic event for the local economy.
“The promotion of tourism is a key objective for us, clearly, but we are also opening up opportunities for local businesses to be part of our wider success. For example exhibitors will be able to exhibit at all three of our shows for the price of two. There are bargains for show-goers too for everyone who visits Ballywalter fair this year will be given a complimentary ticket to the Shane’s Castle event on 25tyh and 26th June: our way of delivering added value and thanking the public for their support.
“In addition our advertising and marketing will reach out of state as well as Northern Ireland markets and the fair will feature on a television programme which will be viewed around the world.”