MLA Paul Frew welcomes Milk Cup moves

Arlene Foster. '�Russell Pritchard / Presseye
Arlene Foster. '�Russell Pritchard / Presseye

North Antrim DUP MLA Paul Frew has welcomed the commitment from his DUP colleague, DETI Minister Arlene Foster, that she will do all she can to secure the future of the Milk Cup football competition in light of the recent news that the Diary Council had withdrawn its sponsorship.

In a written question to the Minister, Mr Frew asked her to outline the steps her department is taking to secure the future of the premier competition.

The Minister replied: “The tournament Chairman has stated that planning for the 2014 tournament is already well underway and that the tournament will definitely go ahead.

“The Northern Ireland Tourist Board continues to support the Milk Cup through the new tourism event funding programme for established international events.

“Under this new scheme the Milk Cup event can secure 1-3 year funding following successful economic appraisal of an agreed business plan, following which a letter of offer will be issued. The letter of offer is subject to annual review, will include objectives and key performance indicators and will be based around the key principle of showing tourism growth and sustainability over the 3 year period.

“Although it is anticipated that the Milk Cup will apply for funding for next year’s event,no submission has yet been received. The organisers have been in direct contact with NITB and have indicated that they will be applying for support.”