South Belfast MLA Anna Lo said: “Alliance has fought long and hard to bolster the arts sector, and today’s news of sponsorship for the festival is a great boost.
“This festival is one of the most important tourism events in the calendar for Northern Ireland, and it generates a massive amount of revenue for the hospitality industry. I want to take this opportunity to praise the Ulster Bank for having the vision to invest in this important festival.
“Because this sponsorship is only for three years, the Executive cannot afford to take their eye of the ball on this issue. They must ensure that the festival is safe for good.
“Today’s positive development does not however absolve the Executive from the need to direct more cash to the arts. Their Budget has devastating implications for this sector. If they want to show people that they mean business about tourism and culture, they must invest properly the future of our local creative geniuses.”