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  1. ITV Report

Bonfire groups ‘reject Belfast City Council funding’

A number of bonfire groups have rejected Belfast City Council funding because they believe too many restrictions are being placed on them.

In the Cregagh Estate, wood is being collected ahead of the Eleventh Night.

However unlike last year, the group organising it is has decided not to apply for funding from the council’s cultural expression programme.

It can provide a grant of £1,250 and a further £500, provided they meet the council's criteria which includes not burning tyres, flags and emblems, displaying paramilitary trappings, or collecting any material prior to the first of June.

But the Cregagh Bonfire Group insists it will do its own fundraising, as it believes the council's initiative is eradicating the community's traditions.

“We'll still have a family-friendly bonfire," said Gwen Ferguson from the group.

"We can self-regulate, we don't need the regulations and rules which are being imposed on us.

"It's an eradication of our culture - it's a gradual process that has been going on for the past couple of years and you just sit back and watch it."

Belfast City Council says applications for the cultural programme are encouraged from a wide range of groups across the city.

The deadline is 11 May.