Roads: 2022 Ulster Grand Prix cancelled due to funding rejection

Peter Hickman leads the pack down the Flying Kilo during the 2019 Superbike race
Peter Hickman leads the pack down the Flying Kilo during the 2019 Superbike race

The Ulster Grand Prix has been cancelled for the third consecutive year after Tourism NI opted not to support funding for the event.

This year’s race was being organised by the Revival Racing Motorcycle Club, and was set to take place on August 16-20 at the Dundrod circuit. The former organisers, the Dundrod Club, were issued with a winding up order after falling into debts of around £300,000. It was also reported that some riders did not receive their prize money in 2019.

Related articles on MCN

It’s believed that Government funding of £800,000 had been signed off to bring the UlsterGP and North West 200 together under one organisational banner, but the package has not been supported by Tourism NI.

A statement released by Revival Racing Motorcycle Club directors, Mervyn Whyte, Phillip McCallen and Robin Titterington, said:

“It is with much regret that we must announce the Revival Racing MCC is not in a position to stage the Ulster Grand Prix in 2022. We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to the Department of Economy and Department of Finance who both fully endorsed our proposal which would have delivered the biggest investment in motorcycling ever seen in Northern Ireland.

“Unfortunately, Tourism NI has informed us it will not support the level of funding agreed. The funding proposal was a joint venture between the UGP and NW200 to provide support to both international events which showcase Northern Ireland around the world. Revival Racing MCC has spent the last year engaging with TNI and government departments to explore the opportunities to increase the economic benefit of the UGP and NW200 to NI.

“All parties have been involved in in-depth business case appraisals which have confirmed excellent value for money and a huge impact on the economy.”

Tourism NI has since issued its own statement regarding the matter, saying that the requested £800,000 for both the NW200 and UlsterGP was six times more than the amount issued for them in 2019.

“The Department for the Economy and Department of Finance provided Tourism NI with the necessary approvals in principle to pay out the sum of money requested if Tourism NI was in a position to do so,” Tourism NI’s statement reads.

“The funding request has now been considered by Tourism NI’s board and it concluded that it could not justify the level of funding requested both on financial and legal grounds. Like all public bodies, Tourism NI is operating in a highly constrained budget environment and is considering requests for support for a range of events across Northern Ireland in 2022.

“Tourism NI has provided Revival Racing with an indicative offer as to what it could expect to receive and what we believe would be sufficient to allow both the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix to progress this year.”

The 2022 North West 200 is set to take place on May 8-14, whilst the Isle of Man TT will also return on May 29 – June 10. This year’s TT will be streamed live on the organiser’s own streaming service.