Mulholland highlights plight of arts sector still waiting on funding

Alliance Councillor Sian Mulholland will highlight the plight of the creative industries across Belfast at a Council meeting tonight, as the pandemic, lockdown and subsequent restrictions have left the sector in crisis.

Speaking as the delay in rolling out an allocated £29 million in funding continues, Sian added the potential loss of knowledge, skills and creativity in an industry brought to its knees was at a critical stage.

She added: “Belfast is a vibrant, creative hub and one we have been proud to showcase on the world stage. Yet, just like elsewhere in Northern Ireland, the industry remains in tatters as a greatly lauded bailout package still has yet to reach the very people who need it most.

“Art and creativity is so often seen as a luxury, as an added benefit or as a non-essential hobby. It is often the first sector to feel the cut when it comes to funding priorities and historically has provided so much with very little investment.

“But there are many skilled individuals who haven’t had a pay day since the middle of March and there are organisations and arts venues that were amongst the first to voluntarily close their doors who have received no indication of when they can begin to safely resume their activities. It is important for us to shine a light on their dire situation.

“That’s why it is urgent that the Minister of Communities prioritise the individuals and organisations that have fallen through the cracks of previous support packages.  Whilst there is a collective commitment to working with the sector, only the release of the funding will really make the difference.”