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National Lottery Funding Boost for Budding North Coast Musicians

Friday 30th October 2020 at 12pm 0 Comments

Pictured is Sorcha Meehan, with students, Maisie Elliott and Clodagh Watters. Image: Pictured is Sorcha Meehan, with students, Maisie Elliott and Clodagh Watters.

North Coast Trad is one of nine organisations this month to be awarded funding through the Arts Council’s Small Grants Programme. The £5,000 grant will go towards the cost of providing music tuition in the Portstewart and Portrush area.

North Coast Trad is a new independent non-profit making music club based in Portrush. Set up in 2019 with support from the Arts Council’s Rural Needs programme, they provide lessons, family sessions and concerts under the guidance of a talented host of tutors including Sorcha Meehan (fiddle,), Conor Mallon (pipes), Martin Meehan (flute, tin whistle) and Lauren O’Neill (harp).

The award is one of nine made this month to arts organisations through the Arts Council’s Small Grants Programme, with over £50,500 going to local arts projects. The programme, funded through the National Lottery, is designed to support the development of creative community-based projects in any artform, including drama, dance, literature, visual and participatory arts, across Northern Ireland.

At North Coast Trad, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, tuition is continuing on, in person when possible, as well as online.  Commenting on the award, Sorcha Meehan from North Coast Trad, said:

“North Coast Trad is delighted with this Small Grants Award! Without the support from the Arts Council our activities would most likely have ceased during this difficult period. Thanks to the Arts Council and the National Lottery, traditional music is alive and kicking on the North Coast.”

Noirin McKinney, Head of Arts Development at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:

“As the pandemic continues, many of us have learnt to really appreciate the benefits that the arts bring to our lives. It is fantastic to see how organisations like North Coast Trad are adapting their practice so that students can continue to receive music tuition during the pandemic in a fun and engaging way.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for good causes, many of which are supporting the most vulnerable in communities. Often a small investment in arts projects can make a big difference to people’s lives and that’s exactly what we are seeing with these fantastic initiatives supported through our Small Grants Programme.”

The National Lottery is playing a critical role in supporting people, projects and communities during these challenging times. By playing The National Lottery, you are making an amazing contribution to the nationwide-response to combatting the impact of Covid-19 on local communities across the UK.

October Small Grants Funding will support:
Tumble Circus, Belfast, £5,475
Brassneck Theatre Company, £9,000
AVA Belfast CIC, £7,200
Northern Ireland Organ Competition, £3,880
Terra Nova Productions, £7,000
Wanda Belfast CIC, £4,430
Kilbroney Community Association, £2,750
North Coast Trad, £5,000
Cruse Bereavement Care, £5,793

Please note, the Small Grants Programme is temporarily closed. Details of when the scheme will reopen will be announced via

To find out more about the range of funding support announced by National Lottery distributors across the UK to date, visit the National Lottery Good Causes website


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