Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Arts Council slammed for favouritism to Belfast

It would appear the Arts Council of Northern Ireland is allocating the majority of its yearly funding to Belfast events much to the dismay of smaller towns around the province.

Sinn Fein MLA Cathal O’Hoisin has voiced his concerns over the uneven distribution of the Art Council’s cash at a recent Stendhal Festival meeting.

The meeting was attended by the festival organisers who put together the event every August in the Roe Valley area of Limavady.

The festival incorporates music, art, dance, sculpture and poetry in what is an all-inclusive event for the whole family. However, it has failed to secure funding despite its popularity and strong artistic nature.

Mr O'Hoisin said: “This type of festival fails to gain the support of many funders including the Arts Council.

“Of the Arts Council’s £13m budget over £10m goes to Belfast and £1.6m to Derry leaving only £1.4m for the rest of the north.

“These local rural festivals need more financial support and I am calling on the Arts Council to look at how their money is distributed in order to provide a more equal share across Northern Ireland and allowing the smaller more community based festivals to flourish."

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