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Coronavirus losses to Northern Ireland arts sector 'to pass £23m by end of year'

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An empty Grand Opera House in Belfast

An empty Grand Opera House in Belfast

May McFettridge

May McFettridge

An empty Grand Opera House in Belfast

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has sounded a dire warning about the future of the arts here after predicting that losses in the province's creative industry caused by the coronavirus pandemic will top £23m by the end of the financial year.

And it has insisted that short term measures will not save the arts and entertainment infrastructure where scores of actors and technicians have seen their earnings virtually disappear as crisis-hit theatres have been shut down by the lockdown.

People working in movies and TV dramas have also been badly hit as the production of a number of high profile projects, such as the hit TV series Line of Duty, were halted.