Belfast Telegraph

Belfast council paid £45k to bonfire builders

A cheering crowd watches the bonfire on Belfast’s Sandy Row (Brian Lawless/PA)
A cheering crowd watches the bonfire on Belfast’s Sandy Row (Brian Lawless/PA)

Belfast City Council awarded nearly £46,000 to 35 bonfires held in Belfast in July, 2019, it has been revealed.

Bonfires held on 10 and 11 July were awarded £45,870.

The BBC has reported that the money was given to bonfire builders under council's bonfire and cultural expression scheme.

It marks a rise on the £42,570 awarded to 28 bonfires in 2018. The council also provided 16 beacons for July bonfires.

Bonfire groups can receive grants of up to £1,750 through the scheme which aims to discourage the use of tyres and hazardous materials.

Up to £500 of the grant can be used for cultural and community activities.

Groups receiving funded are prohibited from displaying paramilitary symbols or flags and emblems on their bonfires.

Some of the funding is awarded after the bonfire takes place to ensure groups abide by the conditions of the funding.

A number of bonfire groups received more than one grant as they were involved in a number of bonfires.

Controversial bonfires, including one built outside Avoniel Leisure Centre, do not receive the funding.

Belfast City Council is set to discuss setting up an all-party group to help manage bonfires on council land at a meeting of its Strategic Policy and Resources Committee on Friday.

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