Northern Ireland

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council cancels Portrush Air Show

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe annual aviation event was a flagship event for north coast tourism

The Portrush Air Show will not go ahead this year after its funding was cut, a Causeway Coast and Glens Borough councillor has confirmed.

Cuts of £2.2m - including funding for the popular air show, amounting to £240,000 - were approved by the council on Wednesday night.

The authority met to discuss cost-cutting proposals after it announced it was £68.7m in debt.

Darryl Wilson told BBC Radio Foyle that the air show "is off the table".

It was announced on Wednesday night that its funding had been withdrawn but it was not clear whether or not the event had been cancelled.

"That doesn't mean that it won't return at some point in the future," the UUP councillor said.

"It's no guarantee that it will return, but this year there certainly will not be an air show."

'Laughing stock'

Sinn Féin councillor Cara McShane told the BBC that the council was "a laughing stock" and the district is "facing a crisis".

Ms McShane said the meeting on Wednesday lasted for five hours, until midnight, but no rates were set, after an 8.27% increase was proposed.

She said there were people in the district who "can hardly afford to put bread on the table never mind be faced with such a hike and also a cut to services".

"There will be pinches felt by everyone, and one of those is the air show and another is at our recycling centres," she said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Changing from fortnightly to monthly black bin collection could save £400,000 annually

The scale of the council's debt was revealed on 4 February when it voted to bring in the advisors to provide "urgent and immediate assistance with the current rate-setting process".

Councillors then postponed a decision on setting rates, pending clarification on potential savings.

A report on those savings itemised dozens of options, including changing black bin collections from fortnightly to monthly and closing Waterworld in Portrush.

More on this story