Arts Funding

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:15 pm on 7th December 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Matthew O'Toole Matthew O'Toole Social Democratic and Labour Party 3:15 pm, 7th December 2020

T5. Mr O'Toole asked the Minister for Communities, in relation to arts funding and the different funds that have been announced, to state how much of the £29 million has been allocated and how many grants have been given out. (AQT 795/17-22)

Photo of Carál Ní Chuilín Carál Ní Chuilín Sinn Féin

I do not have that information to hand, but I will write to the Member. I want to assure him that we will make, and have made, additional funding available for individuals and freelancers because they are going through a difficult time. They do not normally receive public money. With regard to the breakdown, I am not saying this to be smart, but the Arts Council has published it on its website. I will get a breakdown of the grant given under each heading, but I suggest that the Member also goes to the website.

Photo of Matthew O'Toole Matthew O'Toole Social Democratic and Labour Party

I thank the Minister for her answer. Will she give some assurance that all the allocation will be given out to artists and creatives, whether or not they are technical? I have dealt with constituents who, for example, run stage crews. A wide range of people have been completely excluded from other schemes and are a vital part of our creative industries. Is the Minister confident that all that money will be given out before the end of the financial year and that people who need help will get it, because some of these schemes are not opening until the new year?

Photo of Carál Ní Chuilín Carál Ní Chuilín Sinn Féin

I want to assure the Member because I have heard speculation, not only about when the sports funding will be available but when the arts funding will be available. The Arts Council has got that out to people as quickly as possible.

Some of the feedback that I have received from individuals is that they have been helped at the right time with the appropriate amount of money. I assure the Member and everybody else that the process has been as open and transparent as possible and has been supported and made easy by the staff of the Arts Council.