Alliance calls for clarification on government support for the NW200 2023 and other sporting events

Alliance Sport and Community Development Spokesperson David Honeyford MLA has joined with the former Vice Chair of the Committee for Communities Kellie Armstrong MLA to seek clarification about government funding for significant sporting events such as the NW200.

Kellie Armstrong David Honeyford Sport

It comes following news that the North West 200 motorcycle race is unlikely to take place in 2023 or future years due to the hike in public liability insurance.

On Monday (13 February) Kellie and David met with the All Party Group on Sports to discuss the future of the event, as well as wider issues within the sports sector.

Substantial increases to insurance costs is putting major sporting events in jeopardy across NI,” said David, speaking after the meeting.

We heard from Mervyn Whyte at the All Party Group on Sports, who outlined the necessity for government intervention if motorcycle racing is to go ahead this year or in future years.

Mervyn went on to confirm how failing to deliver high profile sporting events will lead to issues in terms of sponsorship for riders, hindering the development of the sport going forward and inevitably letting down a great many fans, which would be a real shame.”

Kellie Armstrong MLA added: “During my work on the Committee for Communities we heard time and again how much the sports sector needs investment to be able to host and hold large events.

As well as showcasing the sport, events bring income into to the local council area, encourages tourism, and promotes NI as a travel destination.

As well as enquiring into whether the Permanent Secretary has the power to release investment if it is available, we have also written to the Department for Communities to seek clarification regarding financial support for large spectator events, partnership working with councils, and the economic impact to areas that will no longer enjoy the benefit such large events bring.”