Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

028 9262 3555

The Board

The Board sets the strategic direction for the Arts Council and oversees the work of the Executive.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is a non-departmental public body (NDPB) of the Department for Communities (DFC).

The Council was established as a statutory body by the Arts Council (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 on 1 September 1995. It is funded via grant-in-aid by the Department for Communities and is managed by a Board. Members are appointed by the Minister for Communities.

The Board consists of the Chairman, Mr John Edmund, plus 8 members and meets on a regular basis. The Board members, including Vice-Chair, Dr Katy Radford, are drawn from a broad cross-section of representatives from the arts and cultural sector.

The Council is made up of the Chairman plus 8 members, providing a broad cross-section of expertise and including representatives from the arts and culture sector.

The Chairman, John Edmund, was appointed for a term of up to four years on 1 January 2017. The following Board members have had their first terms of appointment extended: Dr Katy Radford (Vice-Chair) and Mr Cian Smyth (Board member) with effect from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020. They have both served on the Board since 1 December 2015.

On 1 July 2020, it was announced that six new members to the Board of the Arts Council NI had been appointed following an open competition.  The new members to the Board are: Miss Julie Andrews, Mrs Lynne Best, Mr Liam Hannaway, Mr Sean Kelly, Ms Una McRory and Mr Máirtín Ó Muilleoir.

These six appointments are with effect from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2024.

All appointments are made in accordance with the Code of Practice of the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland. A selection panel, which includes an independent assessor, as required under the Commissioner’s Code, considers the suitability of all candidates. The final decision on the appointments rests with the Minister.

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for the political activity of appointees (if declared) to be published.

The post of Chairman receives an honorarium of £ 10,100 per annum, the post of Vice-Chair receives an honorarium of £ 3,535 per annum. The members’ positions are unpaid, with members receiving expenses only.

The Chairman and Council members have individual and collective responsibility to the Minister for Communities (or, in the absence of a locally devolved administration, a Minister from the NIO) for the governance of the Arts Council.

The Board is responsible for:

Developing Strategy

The Board provides leadership for the organisation. It is the Board’s responsibility to define and develop the strategic direction of the Arts Council.

Providing Public Accountability

We invest and distribute public money to the arts across the Northern Ireland. The Board is committed to acting in a way that promotes the highest standards of public finance at every level.

Monitoring Performance

The Board monitors the performance of the organisation to ensure that aims and targets are being reached.