- 11 Feb 21
"This financial support is vital to stabilise organisations and prevent many from closing permanently," says Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey.
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has announced funding offers of over £10.86 million, from their Stability and Renewal Programme for Organisations (SRPO), to support 168 arts and cultural organisations affected as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The grants are designed to help the cultural organisations respond to the continuing negative impact of the Covid-19 crisis – stabilising them financially to prevent closure and/or to allow continued delivery of outcomes, and supporting renewal plans.
39 of the 168 organisations offered funding are first-time applicants to the Arts Council – representing the commercial entertainments sector and creative industries.
The SSE Arena, for instance, was offered £809,763. Since opening in 2000, the renowned venue has hosted around 2,000 performances – with an attendance figure hitting an impressive 9 million. The MTV European Music Awards is one of many high profile events to have been held at the SSE Arena over the years.
Rockstar Logistics, meanwhile, was offered £409,628. The unique music company, based in Maghera, provides logistical support to artists in music, theatre and comedy – with clients that include Bon Iver, Tenacious D, A$AP Rocky and Lucinda Williams. The company also offers major artists a storage service for their touring equipment at their custom-built store and production facility, when artists are based in Northern Ireland preparing for touring.
Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland noted that today's announcement of funding is "very much needed to help stabilise the wider arts, cultural and entertainment sectors in these difficult times and to plan for eventual recovery.”
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey also remarked that "the arts and creative sectors have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic", before stating that "this financial support is vital to stabilise organisations and prevent many from closing permanently."
“This funding will eliminate deficits which organisations have accumulated from 1 April 2020 because of reductions in income, coupled with unavoidable ongoing costs," she continued. “The arts and creative industries have an important role to play in helping us all emerge from this pandemic, and this support is designed to stabilise organisations until they can reopen and resume delivering their important benefits to our community.”