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Northern Ireland: Events Funding

Volume 684: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

When the business case for (a) Rally Ireland; (b) the Ulster-Scots Academy; and (c) “On Eagle’s Wing” musical were first requested; when they were received in final form; and when they were accepted. [HL7053]

The business cases were reviewed as follows:

The Northern Ireland Events Company commissioned a business case for Rally Ireland in May 2005. The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) received the final version of the business case on 4 January 2006 and it was accepted by DCAL and the Department of Finance and Personnel on 20 January 2006.

DCAL requested consultants to produce a business case for giving effect to the joint declaration commitment to encourage support to be made available for an Ulster-Scots academy on 22 September 2003. The final version of the business case was received by DCAL on 5 March 2004 and it received ministerial approval on 8 August 2004.

The Ulster-Scots Agency was informed of the need for a business case, including an economic appraisal, to support any public funding for the “On Eagle's Wing” project on 29 January 2003. The final version was submitted to DCAL economists on 27 October 2003 The business case did not demonstrate that there was a need for deficit funding, but that On Eagle's Wing Ltd required funding to avert an upfront cash-flow problem. The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure does not have the specific statutory powers to make what would have effectively been a loan from voted funds. As a result the business case was not accepted.