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Local Businesses on Board with Foyle Maritime Festival

21 January 2016

Local businesses flocked to the Guildhall in Derry today to find out more about how they can get involved in this year’s Clipper Race homecoming celebration – the Foyle Maritime Festival.

The programme will take place this year from July 9 – 17, and tens of thousands of visitors are expected to arrive in the city to welcome the 12 Clipper crews, including the Derry~Londonderry~Doire, as they stop over during their year-long global voyage.

A whole host of events have been planned by Derry City and Strabane District Council around the homecoming, offering plenty of opportunities for local businesses - particularly those within the tourism and hospitality sector - to engage with new audiences.

Companies were given a sneak preview of the ten day Foyle Maritime Festival programme, and heard more about what advice and support is on offer from Council in preparation for the event.

Council’s Head of Business, Kevin O’Connor, said that he was delighted at the response from the local business community. “Based on the success of our previous to Clipper Race homecoming events, businesses can really identify with the idea of the Foyle Maritime Festival and the opportunities it presents.

“This event offers a global platform in terms of showcasing the region and brings visitors from far and wide who will be buying local products and enjoying local hospitality. We can offer a range of opportunities for businesses and traders in terms of both corporate sponsorship, and in enhancing their offering in terms of products and services.

“For anyone who didn’t make it along today there will be other chances to engage with the programme, and businesses can contact us directly for more information and advice.”

This is the third time the city will host one of the stopover visits in what has become one of the most significant global sporting events, followed by millions worldwide.

In 2014 the LegenDerry Maritime Festival generated visitor numbers of almost 150,000, making a significant contribution to the local economy.

Local businesses across the public, private, community and voluntary sectors can also apply for funding via the Loughs Agency Sustainable Development Fund which opens in the coming weeks. This will provide up to a maximum of £7,500 for development projects with a further £1,000 accessible for festival and events.

For more information on the full programme go to www.foylemaritimefestival.com or contact Derry City and Strabane District Council on 02871 253253. For information on Council tender opportunities go to www.oppshop.co.uk.

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