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'Business club' orchestra idea is out of tune

I write regarding the latest puzzling letter from Bernard Mullholland (Write Back, Dec 15) suggesting a 'private business club' to fund the Ulster Orchestra, with the idea of block bookings and ticket prices fixed at £30.

Clearly he is unaware that the Ulster Orchestra is a registered charity and as such its articles of association would not permit such a ridiculous idea. Further, increasing the number of concerts and moving to the Waterfront Hall would be quite impossible.

Regional orchestras in England, for example Birmingham, cost £8m to run, almost double what it costs to run the Ulster Orchestra. So I can't understand why £4.5m cannot be found. Vast amounts of taxpayers' money have been wasted here, such as policing Twaddell (£15m). Now, the Audit Office says at least £90m fraud has occurred in housing benefit claims.

As Professor Bain pointed out on the Today programme, the Ulster Orchestra carries out considerable education outreach activities and makes a sizeable contribution to the local economy. As such, perhaps part of its funding should come from the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL)?

It seems extraordinary that none of our politicians have bothered to address the problem. Instead, they persist in holding pointless meetings over marching, flags and the past - issues which have no definite outcome at all.

 

EDWARD LUCAS

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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