Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has said that £10million of funding being offered today to a wide range of arts and creative organisations, will help stabilise the sector which has been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
She made the comments as letters of offers totalling more than £10m were issued to 168 organisations who had applied to the Stability and Renewable Programme for Organisations, which is being delivered by the Arts Council on the Department for Communities’ behalf.
The Minister said: “I know that the arts and creative sectors have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and that this financial support is vital to stabilise organisations and prevent many from closing permanently.
“This funding will eliminate deficits which organisations have accumulated from 1 April 2020 because of reductions in income, coupled with unavoidable ongoing costs.
“The arts and creative industries have an important role to play in helping us all emerge from this pandemic, and this support is designed to stabilise organisations until they can reopen and resume delivering their important benefits to our community.”
The aim of the fund, which is now closed, is to stabilise the arts and creative industries sectors and secure a future which is representative of their spread, diversity and reach prior to the pandemic. Organisations will use the funding to put their finances back on a stable footing.
Roísín McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland said: “Today’s announcement of £10million of funding will be of benefit to 168 arts and cultural organisations across NI. The Arts Council thanks the Minister for Communities for making this emergency fund available. It is very much needed to help stabilise the wider arts, cultural and entertainment sectors in these difficult times and to plan for eventual recovery.”
This funding is part of the Department for Communities’ Covid-19 Culture, Languages, Arts and Heritage Support Programme.
Awards to self-employed individuals, which will be distributed by Arts Council on behalf of the Department, will be announced later this month.