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EACEA National Policies Platform


8. Creativity and Culture

8.2 Administration and governance

Last update: 22 January 2021

LAST MODIFIED ON: 07/12/2020 - 18:36

On this page
  1. Governance
  2. Cross-sectorial cooperation


The main governmental authority with responsibility for creativity and culture for young people in Northern Ireland is the Department for Communities. The department's main policy areas with respect to creativity and culture include:

  • community festivals
  • arts infrastructure
  • the creative industries
  • community cultural hubs
  • the historic environment.

Other main actors include:

Note: the responsibilities of the former Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure were included in the remit of the Department for Communities following machinery of government changes in May 2016.  

Non-departmental public bodies

  • the British Council, which is the UK's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.

Non-public actors 

Notable non-public actors include:

  • Creative & Cultural Skills, which gives young people opportunities to learn and work in the creative industries, helps the creative industries to grow economically and ensures that employers benefit from a skilled generation of talent.
  • Community Arts Partnership, which promotes, develops and delivers community arts practice.
  • Arts and Disability Forum, which develops and promotes disabled and deaf artists.

Audiences NI, which helps to better equip arts, culture and heritage organisations to develop their audience.

Cross-sectoral cooperation

The Children's Services Co-Operation Act (Northern Ireland) 2015 was introduced to improve the well-being of children and young people by enhancing cooperation amongst public sector organisations designated as ‘children’s authorities’. These include Northern Ireland government departments, district councils, health and social care trusts, the Education Authority, the probation board and the police service. The Act sets out eight general characteristics that contribute to the well-being of children and young people, one of which is the 'enjoyment of play and leisure' which includes participation in cultural life and the arts.

DigiSkills NI represents government stakeholders, industry professionals and educators who are committed to developing the digital skills capacity of Northern Ireland, particularly in young people. As adults, this will enable them to create new digital services and businesses and use creativity and innovation in the workplaces of the future.

For details of the cross-sectoral cooperation in the youth sector generally, see the article on 'Cross sectoral approach with other ministries' in the chapter on Youth Policy Governance.