The Strangford MLA said: “I am very pleased about the good news for the Lyric Theatre. This cash will help get more young people involved in the arts and will broaden their outlook on life. This money will help make the Lyric a theatre of dreams for our local young people.
“It has been a long struggle for the Lyric to raise the cash needed to build the exciting new theatre and I hope that they can meet their target.
“Today’s news will boost the whole community, and this funding will help as part of a wider scheme to maximise the potential of the local arts sector.
“This boost does not however give the Minister Edwin Poots an excuse to further minimise arts funding. The arts sector get very raw deal at the moment and should be better funded as it is an important part of our tourism business plan.”