Cookstown 100 bike race will go ahead despite funding cuts

Cookstown 100
Cookstown 100

Despite government budget cuts that have dealt a deathblow to Tourist Board funding for the Cookstown 100, organisers have said “the show will go on”.

Speaking to the Mail about Northern Ireland Tourist Board’s [NITB] decision to stop the Tourism Events Fund in 2015/16, Kenny Loughrin said: “We got £12,000 last year... [but] we survived up to last year without funding from the Tourist Board, and we will survive again.

“It helped us last year to make the paddock a bit bigger and increase the prize fund, but still there’s a hole there and I have to fill it someway with extra

sponsorship.”

When asked if that was possible, he simply added: “It has to be doable”.

“It doesn’t look too bright at the moment, but things can change - We might get nothing this year at all, but the show will go on.”

Cookstown UUP Councillor, Trevor Wilson has called on local people to visit the race, and to buy a programme when they’re there, as this is one of the race’s main sources

of funding.

“It’s disappointing that there has been a cut in this funding as the Cookstown 100 attracts thousands of people into Cookstown every year,” Cllr Wilson told

the Mail.

“But I am sure the races will go ahead thanks to the hard work of the committee.”

On their website, NITB have said: “Due to ongoing budgetary pressures across government, the Tourism Events Fund for 2015/16 will not go ahead.”

A DETI spokesperson confirmed that this means Cookstown 100 will not received funding this year, although they added that Events funding is

never guaranteed.