One of the flagship productions for next year's European Capital of Culture events in Galway is in jeopardy because of the rising cost of insurance cover.

Galway Community Circus said the high cost of renewing its insurance means it has had to limit the services it provides and could be forced to close.

The organisation is one of the cultural partners for the Galway 2020 events and is planning to stage an ambitious high-wire performance over the river Corrib next August.

Training and preparations for the "Wires Crossed" event have been under way for almost two years.

As part of the process, young people from around Galway have been taking part in regular classes, to equip them for the performances.

The initiative is billed as an effort to promote mental wellbeing and health by employing the disciplines needed for funambulism - the art of walking on a tightwire.

The Community Circus said it has only been able to secure one quote for insurance despite several months of effort.

This does not cover aerial acrobatics or any activity above a height of 1.5 metres.

As a result, it is had to cancel classes for 650 members and put a portion of its activities on hold.

The organisation said up to 20 jobs will be lost if the situation is not resolved.

Executive Creative Director Ulla Hokkanen said that instead of being able to work to counter the impact of excessive screen time and youth isolation, the Circus was being forced to close its doors to young people that were benefiting from its services.

Galway 2020, the company set up to oversee the European Capital of Culture programme, said it is working with the Community Circus to address the problem.

CEO Patricia Philbin said the difficulties highlighted the need for insurance reform.

That call has been echoed by the Irish Street Arts, Spectacle and Circus Network.

It is urging local authorities to act immediately to cover the activities in question, through a council-owned insurance mechanism.