Thirty-nine (39) arts organisations across Northern Ireland are set to benefit from almost £1million of Arts Council of Northern Ireland National Lottery funding, to bring a series of high-quality arts projects to people across the region.
The announcement represents a decline in project funding this year of over £500,000, a result of increasing pressures on National Lottery funding and decreased public investment in the arts over the last six years of almost 40% in real terms.
Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, explained,
"Today we are announcing an investment of almost £1million of National Lottery funding for arts projects across Northern Ireland. Over the next year, these projects will deliver a diverse programme of high-quality activities and events to communities across Northern Ireland.
"However, I must set out our concerns regarding the reduction in public funding available to our arts organisations and the loss of creative programming to the people and audiences this supports across Northern Ireland. Regrettably, the amount of annual National Lottery Project Funding available has also decreased, by 33%, and consequently demand exceeded the available resources - we were simply unable to fund work we would otherwise have supported".
Commenting on the impact of reduced funding, she said, "To add perspective, today's announcement is the second round of cuts to arts organisations this year. In combination, the cuts to both exchequer and National Lottery funding resources are producing a significant and negative impact on arts organisations in Northern Ireland.
"Like our colleagues in other parts of the UK and in the Republic of Ireland, I want to encourage all our politicians to look urgently at a new strategy for Arts and Culture here. One that seeks to reinvest in the arts in order to deliver more benefits for the economy, for society and for personal wellbeing - benefits that the arts are recognised for and which other nations readily value."
Over the last 25 years, National Lottery funding has contributed vastly to the socio-economic and cultural growth of Northern Ireland. It is a vital source of funding that allows the Arts Council to support organisations that are bringing quality arts events and programming to all. National Lottery funding helps make extraordinary things happen and touches the lives of many individuals, families and communities; capturing the imagination of Northern Ireland through great arts activities.
This year the Arts Council received 69 applications requesting over £2.5M.
Click here to view the list of successful 2018 National Lottery Project Funding #NationalLottery applicants here