Cultural Playing Field

Inquiry into funding of the arts in Northern Ireland by Robin Simpson
April 23, 2009, 5:11 pm
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , ,

I was in Belfast on Thursday where Brenda, Stephen and I were at Stormont to give a presentation to the Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly as part of the Committee’s inquiry into the funding of the arts in Northern Ireland. We recommended that the funding allocated to the Arts Budget by the Assembly be increased to bring it into line with per capita expenditure in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. We asked that additional funding be dedicated to enabling the voluntary arts sector to survive and develop participation and audiences. We also asked the Department to take the lead in establishing an inter-departmental forum to increase the engagement of other Assembly Departments in the arts and that the Department commission research into participation and needs in the voluntary arts sector to inform the development of a plan of action to improve financial and other supports flowing into this important area of arts provision. Our points seemed to be well received by the Committee and there was a good level of understanding and appreciation of the importance of the voluntary arts sector as part of the wider arts ‘eco-system’.

Robin Simpson.


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