Further Arts Cuts In Latest Funding Allocation

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI) has announced annual funding of £13,109,178 for 100 key arts organisations from its exchequer and National Lottery resources.

Government funds of £8,573,382 maintain the core costs of 100 arts organisations while £4,535,796 of National Lottery funding supports their programming costs.

The Arts Council's Annual Funding Programme (AFP) is the most significant allocation of public funding for the arts in Northern Ireland each year.

The announcement includes an additional allocation of £600,000 from the Department for Communities. This is in response to business cases made by ACNI in 2017 to directly support two key arts organisations, the MAC and the Ulster Orchestra, both of which successfully demonstrated they are structurally underfunded.

However, the remaining balance from the Department's allocation to the Arts Council means that a 4.7% cut to the Annual Funding Programme for 2018/19 has to be applied. As a result, ACNI's Board had to make difficult strategic funding decisions this year to protect the balance of art forms across Northern Ireland. Consequently, the number of arts organisations supported by AFP in 2018/19 was reduced from 107 to 100 organisations.
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The Arts Council Chair, John Edmund, said: "I am delighted that the Arts Council is able to award £13.1 million of annual arts funding to support the valuable work of our artists and arts organisations, all of whom are delivering great art for the benefit of everyone in Northern Ireland.

"Today's total includes an additional allocation from the Department for Communities who responded to business cases made in 2017 to directly support two key arts organisations, the MAC and the Ulster Orchestra, both of which successfully demonstrated they are structurally underfunded.

"However, within the context of reducing public funding across government, the Board had to make the difficult decision to reduce the number of annually funded organisations while protecting the balance of arts forms for the year ahead. It is with regret that we had to refuse AFP funding to 7 applicants; these organisations are eligible to apply to other National Lottery programmes in the future.

"All applications received for Annual Funding this year were eligible, but there simply weren't the resources to fund all that was asked for. The majority of organisations were offered standstill funding or strategic uplifts, while the remainder received cuts.

"I would like to take the opportunity to commend all those who were successful in their applications and who proposed an inspirational, creative range of arts activities and performances which I look forward to seeing in 2018/19."


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