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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Assurance given over £100,000 budget for Armed Forces Day event in Co Antrim

The red arrows

Antrim and Newtownabbey councillors have been told there will be no further increase in the budget for Armed Forces Day to be held in Newtownabbey next month.

The borough council’s Community Development Committee heard the event will be held in Jordanstown Loughshore and Hazelbank Parks, on June 22, at a cost of £100k.

Macedon DUP Councillor Matthew Brady said this would result in a cost of £1 “per head” if 100,000 people attend the event.

Antrim Alliance Cllr Neil Kelly asked if officers would be given delegated authority to increase the budget.

Richard Baker, the council’s chief executive, said that the intention is to “stick to a £20k additional spend”.

Cllr Kelly said if there is to be delegated authority for officers to increase the budget, then the matter needs to be returned to elected members.

Ursula Fay, director of community planning, said she would “give a commitment that officers will not be increasing the budget”.

Armed Forces Day will start with more than 600 military personnel taking part in a drumhead service at Whiteabbey War Memorial before parading to Jordanstown Loughshore Park. The colourful spectacle will include the Bands of HM Royal Marines and the Royal Irish Regiment.

The Red Arrows will perform their new nine aircraft aerobatic display. Air displays by the RAF Tutor and the  Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster will also form part of a mini-air show.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council previously hosted Armed Forces Day 2016 at Antrim Castle Gardens.

The council aims to make 5,000 parking spaces available to enable ‘park and ride’ by bus.


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