Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has announced the Northern Ireland Creative Support Fund will reopen on 31 July with a £4m support package for the arts, creative industries and cultural sector.
The Minister said:
“I am announcing further details on the opening of a £4 million funding package designed to help bolster freelancers and performers and prevent the loss of arts organisations.
“Covid-19 has brought devastating impact for musicians, freelancers, craftspeople and performers. This additional funding provides much needed breathing space for individuals and organisations working in the field of arts, creative industries, Irish language and Ulster Scots cultural centres.”
The support package will build on the initial emergency package launched on 27 April that was heavily oversubscribed and it will give priority to those who have lost opportunities to use their skills.
Ms Ní Chuilín explained:
“This package is designed to help sustain individuals and organisations and enable them to better respond to the new circumstances. The funds will be administered on behalf of my Department by the Arts Council and I have asked that the application process be kept simple and the turnaround time be kept short.
“I am grateful to the Arts Council for responding so swiftly and I want to acknowledge the collaborative work that continues to take place in support of the sector. Further details will appear on the ACNI website over the coming days.
“There is a long and difficult road ahead for arts and culture organisations and music venues. This interim support package for individuals and organisations large and small will act as a bridge for the next few months until the Executive has an opportunity to consider and agree the priorities for allocating the £33m significant support package for arts, culture and heritage.”
The fund for individuals will open from 31 July until 17 August and the awards will range from £1,000 to £5,000.The organisational strand will reopen for new applications from small and medium sized organisations in August and the maximum award available is £25,000. Priority will be given to those who have been unable to access other forms of financial support from Government or other sources.