18/12/2007

Belfast Festival Funding Lifeline - But More Needed

There's to be a much needed cash injection into the Province's premier arts event - although it is only a temporary reprieve for the annual Belfast Festival at Queen's - as much more corporate cash is still needed too.

It has just been announced that the Festival is to get £300,000 over the next three years from the NI Government.

The Assembly Arts Minister Edwin Poots said it meant the festival could develop "a more sustainable model based on box office receipts and commercial sponsorship".

He said £125,000 would be allocated to the 2008 festival, with £100,000 in 2009 and £75,000 in 2010.

Queen's University said the funding was recognition of "the festival's enormous contribution to the economy".

The cash comes not a minute too soon as the festival organisers have been battling in recent years to secure its long-term future.

Even the university has threatened to cancel the event - because of a cash crisis - but a £150,000 one-off grant from the Department of Culture gave it a lifeline for 2007.

In a statement, Queen's said the festival "puts more than £6.5m a year into Northern Ireland businesses, benefiting a number of sectors including tourism and hospitality".

"The university hopes now that other funding partners who benefit directly from the festival will recognise the substantial opportunities provided by a properly-funded international festival and respond accordingly," it added.

Mr Poots said he had "every hope that the corporate sector will play an increasing role".

(BMcC)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

18 January 2022
Young People Impacted By DUP's 'Foolhardy Pursuit' Of Hard Brexit
The future of Northern Ireland's young people is being impacted by the DUP's "foolhardy pursuit" of a hard Brexit, SDLP Brexit Spokesperson Matthew O'Toole has said.
13 January 2022
Finance Ministers Call On Treasury For Covid Funding Flexibility
NI's Finance Minister, Conor Murphy, has joined his Scottish and Welsh counterparts in calling on the Treasury to guarantee that money allocated to support Covid responses will be provided in full. The Ministers are also urging action to tackle the cost of living crisis and help households with rising bills.
04 January 2022
Funding Announced For Strathfoyle Greenway Works
Funding of £440,000 has been announced for a 2.7km extension of the Waterside Greenway, linking Stradowen Drive in Strathfoyle to Derry city centre and the wider greenway network, by Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey.
17 December 2021
Finance Minister Calls For Furlough Scheme To Be Reinstated
Finance Minister, Conor Murphy has written to the Treasury to call for additional funding and for the furlough scheme to be reinstated to deal with the increased challenges presented by Omicron. NI was recently allocated £75 million, however Minister Murphy has said that £50m of this is "not new money".
08 December 2021
New £14m Funding Package Announced To Develop Environment Projects
Minister for the Environment Edwin Poots has announced a new £14 million funding package to assist farmers develop new environment projects. Under the fifth round of DAERA's Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS), successful applicants can expect to receive their online offer of an agreement in the next couple of weeks.