Armstrong says pandemic may kill arts here unless financial package released

Alliance Communities spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has said the pandemic could kill off the arts in Northern Ireland unless a multi-million-pound rescue package is released.

The £33 million for theatres, arts, music venues and museums was given to the Executive during the summer. However, the money has still to be released. Strangford MLA Ms Armstrong has now received the answer to a written question from Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín, confirming the Minister has submitted a request to secure the money.

“The arts play a major role in our society, contributing to community cohesion, tackling isolation and improving relations,” said Ms Armstrong.

“I am pleased the Minister has now confirmed she has submitted a business case to the Executive and I look forward to seeing a rapid response. However, in the meantime, artists, performers and arts venues are continuing to operate without access to financial support. I have spoken to many in the sector, who like many in our community, are going through stress and anxiety while long-term damage is done.

“With the sector experiencing devastating cuts, unless we get intervention soon, we will see the loss of organisations and events, leading to the very real possibility the COVID-19 pandemic could kill off the arts here.”