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Cash boost: Trad group one of nine to be awarded funding from Arts Council

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Tuning up: Tutor Sorcha Meehan with students Maisie Elliott and Clodagh Watters

Tuning up: Tutor Sorcha Meehan with students Maisie Elliott and Clodagh Watters

Tuning up: Tutor Sorcha Meehan with students Maisie Elliott and Clodagh Watters

Budding musicians on the North Coast have received a cash boost.

North Coast Trad is one of nine organisations to be awarded funding this month through the Arts Council's Small Grants Programme. The £5,000 grant will go towards the cost of providing music tuition in the Portstewart and Portrush area.

North Coast Trad is a new independent non-profit-making music club based in Portrush.

Set up in 2019 with support from the Arts Council's Rural Needs programme, they provide lessons, family sessions and concerts under the guidance of a talented host of tutors including Sorcha Meehan (fiddle), Conor Mallon (pipes), Martin Meehan (flute, tin whistle) and Lauren O'Neill (harp).

The Arts Council's Small Grants Programme, funded through the National Lottery, is designed to support the development of creative community-based projects in any artform, including drama, dance, literature, visual and participatory arts, across Northern Ireland.

At North Coast Trad, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, tuition is continuing, in person when possible, as well as online. Sorcha Meehan from the group said: "Without the support from the Arts Council our activities would most likely have ceased during this difficult period."

Noirin McKinney, head of arts development at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said: "As the pandemic continues, many of us have learnt to really appreciate the benefits that the arts bring to our lives."

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Other Small Grants Funding will support Tumble Circus, Belfast (£5,475); Brassneck Theatre Company (£9,000), AVA Belfast CIC (£7,200), Northern Ireland Organ Competition, (£3,880) and Terra Nova Productions (£7,000). The other recipients are Wanda Belfast CIC (£4,430), Kilbroney Community Association (£2,750) and Cruse Bereavement Care (£5,793).


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