A COUNCIL has agreed a £15,000 sponsorship for an annual steam rally in Antrim despite a projected drop in visitors, the Belfast Telegraph reports.
Last year 14,880 people attended the event, but 12,800 are predicted this year.
Organised by Shane’s Castle Vintage Steam Group, it takes place on May 9 and 10 instead of the traditional May Day holiday.
Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has been sponsoring the event since 2014.
The Belfast Telegraph reported that Ulster Unionist councillor Jim Montgomery said: “We have seen over the years how successful and popular this event is. It is part of the annual calendar. So many visitors and participants from outside Northern Ireland come for the event.
“£15,000 is more than justified for such a popular event that brings many people to the area.”
Councillors were told that the reason for a projected downturn in visitors is the revised date.
This has been selected so it does not compete with the council’s Garden Show Ireland event at Antrim Castle Gardens from May 1 to 3.