Bradshaw expresses concern over lack of confidence in Arts Council Chair

Alliance South Belfast MLA Paula Bradshaw has expressed her concern at reports the Chair of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland did not enjoy the full confidence of his board.

The move followed comments by John Edmund about the “high level of dependency” in the arts sector, which were interpreted by many as him supporting the predicted cuts to arts.

Eight of the 10 members of the Arts Council Board subsequently signed a statement saying the comments don’t reflect official policy.

“The truth is the arts are funded in Northern Ireland at a significantly lower level than elsewhere on these islands,” said Ms Bradshaw.

“Wales, for example, receives £10.03 per capita while Northern Ireland receives £5.31 and the past six years have seen a near 40 per cent cut in funding. This has been under both DUP and Sinn Féin ministers, and appears to be a conscious political choice.

“The Chair of the Arts Council should be standing up for arts funding in Northern Ireland. The previous DUP minister Paul Givan appointed Mr Edmund and there must now be a question mark over whether Mr Edmund – given his views – can command the confidence of the sector, and his organisation, into the future.”

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