Belfast Telegraph

James Nesbitt makes commitment to arts by backing youth

By Amanda Ferguson

One of Northern Ireland's best known actors has become patron of a youth drama school to demonstrate his commitment to the arts at a time when budget cuts threaten a variety of projects.

Coleraine's James Nesbitt, on our TV screens last week in the gripping series finale of The Missing, has become so exercised about the damage Stormont budget cuts will have, he has become a patron for the Belfast and Magherafelt-based Bright Young Things (BYT).

"Supporting drama for young people is close to my heart," he said. "I loved my time growing up in Northern Ireland doing youth drama, that is where it all began for me. I am delighted at becoming a patron for BYT.

"It's wonderful to be part of a dynamic organisation committed to fostering confidence, communication and creative expression in our young people." Nesbitt is backing the Arts Council's campaign to protect the arts and explained he made the move in response to the proposed cuts.

"I've taken my support one step further by becoming patron of Bright Young Things to demonstrate my commitment to the arts sector and young people in Northern Ireland," he added.

BYT founder Lisa Duffy said: "Bright Young Things has non-selective admission, every child and young person is welcome, regardless of their ability. This is our ethos and James Nesbitt strongly supports our belief."

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