Council investigating possibility of holding virtual events

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough council will investigate the possibility of holding some of its events virtually.

Thursday, 28th May 2020, 2:42 pm

The proposal to look at the feasibility of hosting certain events remotely was raised at Tuesday evening’s virtual meeting as members discussed a report recommending all Council led events are cancelled until the end of August.

Council’s Head of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Brian Johnston, advised members  there will be a further report in June that will give consideration to events held until the end of December 2020.

The report, circulated to members before the meeting, states that at present, events involving gatherings of people are not permitted and it is anticipated that when they are, other controls such as social distancing will be required.

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Some of the events recommended for cancellation include Buskfest in Banbridge Town Centre on June 20, Armed Forces Day in Banbridge Town Centre and Rugby Club on June 27 and the Seven Hills Blues Festival in Armagh which runs from August 6-9.

Other events for later in the year, including the Georgian Festival in Armagh and Halloween events across the borough and Christmas and twilight markets are all marked for further consideration.

When asked by Banbridge Sinn Fein councillor, Kevin Savage why an estimate of council savings was not included in the report Mr Johnston said Council would have spent £265,000 on the events it  now proposes to cancel.

However, he did advise that not all of that will be saved by Council as some contractual obligations will need to be met.

SDLP group leader, Councillor Thomas O’Hanlon raised the possibility of holding some of these events virtually.

“We are encouraging businesses to do things online,” said the Armagh representative.

“If we could look at some of these events happening between now and Christmas and see if there is an opportunity to do similar with them, could we have that explored and brought back in due course?”

Lurgan councillor Liam Mackle said: “I would be very happy with some virtual events taking place in the months ahead.”

The Sinn Fein representative then proposed that Council officers explore this idea and report back in due course with the proposal seconded by Councillor O’Hanlon.

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