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Funding to help musicians purchase new instruments announced

Friday 6th November 2020 at 3pm 0 Comments Northern Ireland Music

Pictured are: Críostóir Ó Bradáin and Gráinne Ní Bhradaín, from the Armagh Pipers, one of the groups to benefit from the scheme last year. Image: Pictured are: Críostóir Ó Bradáin and Gráinne Ní Bhradaín, from the Armagh Pipers, one of the groups to benefit from the scheme last year.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is offering a number of funding opportunities under its Musical Instruments Scheme. Thanks to capital investment of £300,000 from the Department for Communities three funding programmes have opened offering support for artists and groups to purchase instruments up until March 2021.

The scheme is good news for marching bands, non-professional and professional performing groups, community groups, professional musicians and schools that may be eligible to apply to purchase instruments and music-making equipment. The Musical Instruments Scheme is designed to increase the quality of music-making in Northern Ireland and to ensure as many groups and individuals as possible have an opportunity to purchase new instruments.

Programme one: Musical Instruments for Bands
Grants of up to £10,000 are available through this scheme. Funding is designed to help bands replace worn –out instruments and purchase new ones. It is open to bands based in Northern Ireland, which are constituted, including marching, accordion, brass, concert, flute, pipe and wind bands.

Programme two: Professional and Non-Professional Performing Groups
Grants of up to £30,000 are available through this scheme. This strand is open to schools and to professional and non-professional performing groups in any genre of music, including amateur / youth orchestras and ensembles, choirs, community music groups, musical societies and pop and rock ensembles. Primary and post primary schools are also encouraged to apply for funding for non-core curriculum activities.

Programme three: Individual Professional Performing Musicians
Grants of up to £10,000 will be available through this scheme. This strand is designed to provide support for highly-skilled performing musicians based in Northern Ireland, working at a professional level, who seek support for the purchase of high quality instruments that are central to their performing career.

Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said:

“The Musical Instruments Scheme is a recognition of the importance of supporting musical potential and excellence across the range of the musical culture here.  

“From our rich banding tradition with its many forms, all of which have been impacted heavily by COVID, through to our aspiring and talented individuals.

“It is important that we don’t lose sight of the important contribution that musical performance makes not just to the lives of the performers but to the well-being of us all. “

Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:

“With much appreciated capital investment from the Department of Communities, the Arts Council is delighted to reopen this popular scheme for a second year. This valuable range of programmes offers bands, musical groups, schools and professional musicians the opportunity to buy new instruments, helping to increase skills for all types of players - from young musicians just starting out, right through to highly trained performers. All the information about how to apply is on the Arts Council website and we would encourage anyone interested in the scheme to visit for more details. “

Please note, limited funds are available to support this programme and it is anticipated that demand for funds is likely to be high. The Arts Council will aim to distribute funds as widely as possible in order to provide maximum benefit.


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