MAKING PROGRESS Anne-Marie Flynn, Manager Mayo North Promotions Office, who addressed Ballina councillors last week, is pictured with Head Chef at Foxford Woolen Mills Cáfe, Kathleen Lally and Mags Downey-Martin, Ballina Chamber of Commerce at a Mayo North Food Tourism Seminar in Ballina Great National Hotel. Pic: Henry Wills
THE manager of the Mayo North Promotions Office has asked local councillors to keep the faith in the organisation and continue to fund it in the coming year.
Anne-Marie Flynn, the Manager of the Mayo North Promotions Office, made a presentation to members of the Ballina Municipal District at their December meeting. She detailed the work the office has done in the last 12 months and asked the council to continue to support them financially.
Mayo North was set up in 2013 to promote the region as a year round tourism destination and last year it was involved in the promotion of the Ceide Coast Half Marathon and 10k, Cannonball Ireland and the Ballina Fringe Festival.
They have a annual budget of €80,000 with 49 percent of their current budget coming from Mayo County Council and Ms Flynn asked the councillors to continue that support.
“We have delivered so far and I am asking you to continue on that basis and keep faith in us that we will continue to do a good job. We know know our visitor numbers are growing and there is an opportunity to further grow the region. Your support has built an environment which has given businesses a confidence in this model and want to get involved. I feel that by withdrawing funding at this point will knock the confidence that is there at a time when we really need it,” she said.
Business community buy-in
Ms Flynn said that the business community were buying into the idea of Mayo North with private sector funding increasing from €8,000 to €20,000 in the last year. She said this level of interest is growing all the time as they realise the important of working together to give the best version of the region to a wider audience.
She received support from members of the municipal district for the work she is doing for Mayo North and they pledged their continued support for the project. Cllr Mark Duffy said that Mayo North was a huge asset to the region and also felt that a hostel would be of huge benefit to Ballina in attracting a different demographic to the town.
Cllr Jarlath Munnelly said it was clear that businesses were rowing in behind Mayo North and called for funding to be made available from the central budget of Mayo County Council for promotion of the area.
Director of Services, Declan Turnbull, said that he had worked closely with Ms Flynn on a number of projects over the last year. He said Mayo North is a ‘marvellous support’ for the council and he hopes the council will be able to provide the same support.