This week, The Impartial Reporter asked Fermanagh and Omagh District Council if it is actively seeking to host national and international events in the Fermanagh area, and if so, what is its strategy?

In response, a spokesperson noted that the Council values festivals and events “highly” as they provide recreation and leisure opportunities for residents, help build strong and resilient communities and have many economic and social benefits.

“As councils are put under pressure financially, and several of our Council departments support, host or initiate events, the Council actively seeks ways to make sure our investment has maximum impact and benefit across our community.

“That’s why the Council has a ‘Festivals and Events Strategy (2021-2026)’,” said the spokesperson, going on to outline five strategic goals of the strategy.

“Support – We provide a supportive environment which facilitates the effective creation, production and development of existing events and festivals and attract new events and festivals that bring visitors and new spending to Fermanagh and Omagh.

“Develop – We develop strong collaboration across the public agencies with event/festival organisers identifying the resources required to build their capacity and capability and to support and assist events/festivals move towards being financially self-sustaining.

“Promote – We encourage, support and develop events that increase visitation and enhance the profile of the Council region as a destination that celebrates and showcases our communities, our people, places and unique selling points.

‘Systematic approach’

“Monitor – We have a consistent and systematic approach to event/festival evaluation in order to measure the outcomes generated by those the Council invests in.

“The Council’s events and festivals portfolio consist of a range of cultural, tourism, sporting and community-based events in Fermanagh and Omagh that complements and might have characteristics that are distinctive and specific to an area.”

The spokesperson explained that through delivery of the strategy, the Council aims to develop a “well-rounded portfolio” that offers a “vibrant and diverse” event and a festivals calendar that celebrates sports, arts, traditional culture, heritage, music, and the environment and supports the cultural identity and local traditions of an area.

It also aims to provide a balanced events calendar that encourages the spread of events geographically across the district and throughout the year, especially in the winter and shoulder seasons.

The spokesperson also outlined how the Council will aim to promote the location and natural resources and assets, such as Lough Erne, combined with arts, culture, heritage and sport to “provide strong leveraging opportunities to develop a competitive advantage for events and festivals in the region”.

Finally, the Council aims to attract overnight stays and higher-yield spending, building visitor experience development opportunities and the reputation for Fermanagh and Omagh.


“These events can be small, local and community-focused or large, nationally/internationally profiled. To attract those larger events, the Council works closely with a range of stakeholders, partners and event organisers to find the best fit and best return for investment.

“As the Council secures such events, we will keep Press and residents informed,” said the Council spokesperson, adding: “The Council recognises the importance of supporting, encouraging and developing a range of events that will complement and enhance its ‘Place Shaping Plans’ for Omagh and Enniskillen, and the ‘Visitor Experience and Development Plan’ for the district.

“Public consultation on the Enniskillen and Omagh Place Shaping and the draft Visitor Experience Development Plan for Fermanagh Lakelands and Omagh and the Sperrins – a 10-year road map for tourism in the area – is currently ongoing.”

When asked if the Council has targeted any particular events to pursue, the spokesperson said: “The Council works closely with a range of stakeholders, partners and event organisers to find the best fit and best return for investment.

“As the Council secure such events we will keep Press and residents informed.”