Additional £3.25m For Arts And Creative Sectors

An additional £3.25 million has been secured for individuals who work across the arts and wider creative economy, Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has announced.

At a meeting with the sector the Minister outlined a further round of the Individuals Emergency Resilience Programme (IERP) will open for applications on December 17.

Applicants experiencing financial hardship as a result of Covid-19 will be able to apply for support of up to £5,000 - or £7,500 for disabled individuals with support costs.

This is the third emergency programme targeted directly at individuals and will be delivered by Arts Council NI on behalf of the Department.

The funding is aimed at venue support staff, singer songwriters, session musicians, set designers, lighting and sound technicians, artists, actors, DJs, musicians, rappers, writers/poets, comedians, open mike performers, tutors and facilitators, dancers, choreographers, editors and proof readers, craftspeople. This is an indicative list and is not exhaustive.

Minister Ní Chuilín said: "I announced the release of £3million to Arts Council on 19 October 2020 to allow them to support all eligible applications to the individual support programme which ran during September 2020 and had been oversubscribed.

"Most of the £3million funding has already been allocated to support individuals who I know have been badly hit by the pandemic and are in dire need of help. Many others still need help.
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"The wider creative sectors have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and many jobs are in jeopardy. This additional £3.25m for individuals will support their skills development and ability to create new work.

"I want to see these sectors stabilised so that they can continue to enrich our lives and our society through their work."

The Minister announced on 19 October that individual artists would be the first to benefit from the £29m Executive allocation. In addition to that £3.8m allocation to the Arts Council, the organisation received a further £7.75m at the end of October for the Stability and Renewal Programme for Organisations taking their total allocation to more than £14m.

Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: "The Arts Council of Northern Ireland welcomes the funding announced today by Minister Ní Chuilín. This fund is designed to support those artists and freelance creatives who were left struggling with serious financial hardships since their livelihoods disappeared practically overnight as a result of the pandemic. There was overwhelming demand on our previous Artists Emergency Programme and Individuals Emergency Resilience Programme (IERP) for creative workers and this new fund provides critically-needed support. The Arts Council is working closely with the Minister and her Department to ensure that this second round of IERP funding is delivered, particularly to those who have yet to benefit from previous emergency public funding programmes."

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