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£7.75m programme to support arts and cultural organisations

Wednesday 28th October 2020 at 7am 0 Comments

Lyric Theatre Belfast Image: Lyric Theatre Belfast

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland to distribute grants on behalf of Department for Communities.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland will deliver, on behalf of the Department for Communities, a £7.75m programme of support, aimed at helping arts and cultural sector recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Through the Stability and Renewal Programme for Organisations, grants of up to £500,000 will be available to organisations working in the arts and cultural sector to help them respond to the immediate impacts of the Covid-19 crisis, including help with re-opening, adapting and stabilising their organisations in the long-term

The Stability and Renewal Programme is part of the £29 million Executive allocation that was made to DfC to support the arts, culture, heritage and language sectors which have been severely impacted by Covid-19.

This is the latest package of support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland on behalf of the Department for Communities which has included £1.9m for the Organisations Emergency Programme, and £3.8m under the Individuals Emergency Resilience Programme.

The Stability and Renewal Programme for Organisations is open to arts, culture and community organisations whose primary role is to create, present or support one (or more) of these categories:

  • ­Dance
  • Drama
  • Literature
  • Music and Opera
  • Traditional Arts
  • Visual Arts
  • Performing arts and theatre
  • Festivals and cultural events
  • Participatory Arts
  • Comedy
  • Cross Art form
  • Community Arts
  • Creative Industries in the following segments:
    • Independent Cinema
    • Product Design, Fashion Design, and Graphic Design;
    • Crafts;
    • TV, Video, Photography, Film, and Radio;


Carál Ní Chuilín, Communities Minister said: 

“This funding aims to not only save many organisations from collapse, and to retain specialists within the sector, but to help them adapt to the challenges ahead. I am determined that this sector will emerge stronger than ever and that it will also be fit-for-purpose to take on the huge challenge of helping those who need help the most.”

Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland said, 

“The Arts Council is pleased to open the Stability and Renewal Programme for Organisations today and thanks the Minister for making this funding available.  This financial aid is very much needed to strengthen the durability of the wider sector in these difficult times.   Our research clearly evidences that more funding is needed to help arts and cultural businesses re-open and flourish over the next few years, so that they may continue to contribute fully to our economy and to our society.

“We already have had two rounds of funding to provide much-needed financial support to cultural organisations which had been decimated under the Covid-19 lock down. The closure of theatres and venues, the cancellation of festivals and events and the disappearance of live audiences has been devastating to those who work within these sectors, those who helped drive the regeneration of our local economy. This new funding programme for organisations opening today is absolutely necessary.

“Meanwhile, the Arts Council continues to provide expert advice to our partners in government, making the case for the needs of a sector, still on its knees and facing significant financial challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The Stability and Renewal Programme for Organisations will open at 2pm on 28th October for online applications and will close on Friday 27 November 2020 at 12noon.  Further details, including Guidance Notes and FAQs, are available at

After applications close at midday on Friday 27 November, decisions on awards will be made by 29 January 2021.


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