Vital arts money gets to sector as quickly as possible, says Armstrong

It is vital money promised from the UK Government gets to the arts sector as quickly as possible, Alliance Communities spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has said.

Local arts will receive £33 million as part of a support package for arts venues aimed at theatres, music, museums and galleries. Arts leaders had previously warned the sector faced ‘ruinous losses’ due to the closure of venues due to the pandemic.

“Having spoken to the Arts Council and Arts Community Network members, I recognise the sector is in severe financial difficulties,” said Strangford MLA Ms Armstrong.

“Venues, individual artists, musicians and all those who work to create events and performances are facing a bleak future. Many of those in the sector were excluded from the job retention scheme and it is important we support the creative industries, given the crucial role they play, particularly in supporting reconciliation and mental health.

“It is vital the Barnett Consequential money from the UK Government makes its way fully to the arts sector here. It will also pay for itself, as the arts are a key aspect of our economy in Northern Ireland. The entire sector depends upon this financial support until audiences feel safe enough to go out again.”