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EACEA National Policies Platform


8. Creativity and Culture

8.10 Current debates and reforms

Last update: 22 January 2021

LAST MODIFIED ON: 07/12/2020 - 18:48


The Arts Council of Northern Ireland  published a strategic framework for developing the arts 2019-2024. This framework  recognises the uncertainties facing Northern Ireland in the future - since the restoration of the Northern Ireland Executive in January 2020, the uncertainties focus on COVID-19 rather than the lack of a sitting assembly. 

Funding for the arts and heritage sector has been allocated as a response to COVID-19. In September 2020, it was announced that £29m has been allocated by the Executive to provide support for the culture, language, arts and heritage sectors impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Some of this funding is as follows: 

  • £2million fund for community based culture, arts and heritage projects in response to Covid-19 to be distributed by the Community Foundation NI who will prioritise projects which support people with disabilities and those who are vulnerable. Open to all community organisations which can deliver new projects as part of the Programme’s renewal strand. Any constituted organisation can apply and their primary purpose need not be related to arts or heritage. Groups can apply for awards from £2,000 to £20,000 for expenditure up to 31 March 2021 for a wide range of projects related to culture, arts, creativity and heritage.
  • The National Lottery Heritage Recovery Fund will deliver a £5.5m programme of support aimed at helping the heritage sector recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The Arts Council of Northern Ireland will deliver a £7.75m Stability and Renewal Programme for Organisations to support the arts and cultural sector in its recovery from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Grants of up to £500,000 will be available to organisations working in the arts and cultural sector to help them respond to the immediate impacts of the Covid-19 crisis, including help with re-opening, adapting and stabilising their organisations in the long-term.
  • The Ulster-Scots Covid-19 Resilience Fund will provide small grants (up to £3k) to help groups with overhead costs and Covid-19 safety; language grants for innovative projects promoting the Ulster-Scots language (up to £10k); and large organisation grants (up to £30k) to help larger groups replace income lost due to the pandemic.