Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

028 9262 3555 info@artscouncil-ni.org

Showcasing the Arts

Northern Ireland has a unique sense of place, culture, history and identity.

Northern Ireland has a unique sense of place, culture, history and identity, all of which is expressed through our arts. Our arts are our defining assets, and they have the power to elevate our image in our own eyes and in the eyes of the world.

With our different languages, different cultures and different talents, people are turning to the arts in greater numbers than ever.

In addition to enjoying the full range of inspiring and enriching performances, readings, recitals and exhibitions, there are increasing opportunities for people of all generations, abilities and backgrounds to participate directly in rewarding creative activities.

Our artists and arts organisations are fully engaged today at the heart of social, economic and creative life in Northern Ireland.

Annual Progress Report to the Equality Commission

Each year, the Arts Council submits a report to the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland on the progress of our work in relation to the equality and good relations duties under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

These reports are submitted to the Equality Commission by the end of August each year:

 

Equality Screening

Screening is the process of monitoring policies for any adverse impacts on the promotion of equality of opportunity and good relations. 

This helps to identify any policies that are likely to have major equality issues. If they do, they are subject to a full equality impact assessment (EQIA).

The most recent policies subject to screening are:

 

Quarterly Screening Reports

List of policies to be screened and timetable

 

 

 

Official Statistics

Following the introduction of the Official Statistics Order (2012) the Arts Council of Northern Ireland became a provide of official statistics. 

This means that the Arts Council produces, manages and disseminates official statistics in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics published by the UK Statistics. The Code sets out a number of important principles and practices to ensure that official statistics provide government and the public with information that can be regarded as both trustworthy and trusted, 

As a result you can expect the Arts Council to:

  • Produce, manage and disseminate official statistics based on the needs of users including decision makers, public services and the public.
  • Employ sound statistical methods consistent with scientific principles and international best-practice
  • Protect the confidentiality of information about individual persons
  • Ensure official statistics are available to all in an easy to digest format
  • Manage and present official statistics impartially and objectively
  • Ensure confidence in the official statistics produced by only giving pre-release access to a small number of Arts Council staff no more than 24 hours before publication. 

 

Arts Council of Northern Ireland official statistics 2016/17


In 2016/17 the Arts Council of Northern Ireland will produce the following official statistics:

  • Arts and Culture in Northern Ireland 2016. Arts and Culture in Northern Ireland (2016) will report on the characteristics and behaviours of adults attending and participating in arts and culture in Northern ireland based on the findings of an omnibus survey of the resident adult population.
  • Annual Funding Survey (2015/16). The Annual Funding Survey provides details on the activities and outputs of core funded arts organisations each year. Data gathered on our investments informs evaluations, funding decisions and future strategy. 

 

Other Supporting Documents:

 

Annual Reports

 

Equality Impact Assessments

If screening identifies that a policy has major potential to impact on equality of opportunity and good relations, it is subjected to a more detailed analysis, an Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA). 

This means if a policy shows a possible 'adverse impact' on any group, the Arts Council will consider how this might be reduced. The most recent policies subjected to a full EQIA and details of associated outcome reports are listed below. 

 

 

 

Equality Scheme and Action Plan

Our Equality Scheme is a statement of our commitment to fulfil the statutory obligations in compliance with Section 75 and Schedule 9 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

This Act places a duty on us to promote equality of opportunities and good relations.

An equality scheme outlines the public authority's arrangements for: 

  • assessing its compliance with the duties under section 75
  • assessing and consulting on the likely impact of policies on the promotion of equality of opportunity
  • monitoring any adverse impact of policies on the promotion of equality of opportunity
  • publishing the results of such assessments
  • training staff
  • ensuring and assessing public access to information and services provided by the public authority.


We will commit necessary resources (in terms of people, time and money) to make sure that the statutory duties are complied with and that the Equality Scheme can be implemented effectively, and on time.
The Arts Council’s new Equality Scheme was approved by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland on the 27 February 2013. The Arts Council has also produced an Action Plan for the timeframe of the Equality Scheme.

 

 

 

Equality and Good Relations Duties

The Arts Council is committed to fulfilling its statutory equality and good relations duties. 

The Arts Council has obligations under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act to ensure that equality of opportunity and good relations are central to policy making, policy implications and review, as well as service delivery.

These responsibilities place a duty on the Arts Council to address inequalities and demonstrate measurable positive impact on the lives of people experiencing inequalities. 

As part of its commitment to creating a more diverse and equal society, the Arts Council produces an Annual Report to the Equality Commission and a Disability Action Plan (2015 - 2018) which sets out the organisations' commitment to promoting positive attitudes towards people with disabilities and encourages participation in all aspects of the arts.

Details of work carried out by the Arts Council to fulfill its statutory equality and good relations duties, including the delivery of its Equality Scheme and Disability Actions Plans can be found here.

In addition to these duties, the Arts Council screens policies for any adverse impacts on the promotion of equality of opportunity and good relations. 

 

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Privacy

When someone visits our websites we collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. We collect this information in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our websites. We will not associate any data gathered from this site with any personally identifying information from any source. If we do want to collect personally identifiable information through our website, we will be up front about this. We will make it clear when we collect personal information and will explain what we intend to do with it.

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This website is owned, operated and managed by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, hereafter referred to as ACNI. Access to, and use of, this site is provided by ACNI for your personal use only. Use of this site constitutes your acceptance of these terms and conditions, which take effect immediately on your first use of the site. ACNI reserves the right to change these Terms and Conditions at any time by posting changes online. You are responsible for reviewing regularly information posted online to obtain timely notice of such changes. Your continued use of this site after changes are posted constitutes your acceptance of this agreement as modified by the posted changes.

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(This relates to creations of the mind: inventions (patents), literary works, symbols, names and images used in commerce.)

The names, images and logos identifying ACNI are proprietary marks of the ACNI.  Copying or use of ACNI logo and/or any other third party logos accessed via this website is not permitted without prior approval from ACNI or relevant copyright owner in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

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The ACNI website, and material relating to government information, products and services (or third party information, products and services), are provided 'as is' without any representation or endorsement made and without warranty of any kind whether express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of satisfactory quality, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement, compatibility, security and accuracy.

We do not warrant that the functions contained in the material contained in this site will be uninterrupted or error free, that defects will be corrected, or that this site or the server that make it available are free of viruses or represent the full functionality, accuracy, reliability of the materials.

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These Terms and Conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Northern Ireland. Any dispute arising under these Terms and Conditions shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Northern Ireland.

Advocacy

We are the main advocate for the arts ​in Northern Ireland.

The Arts Council is the main advocate for the arts in Northern Ireland.

We present Government and other influential opinion formers with a strong case for supporting the arts, backed up by reliable research and evidence. We actively encourage public support by promoting the achievements of our artists and arts organisations in the media.

Our work is successful because of the excellence and commitment of our artists, arts organisations and venues. They are our best ambassadors.

We want to thank everyone for the tremendous support for the recent campaign which called for No More Cuts to the Arts.

  • Overall approximately 17,000 submissions of support were received from members of the general public 
  • Social media reached 7 million people and resulted in 30,000 + social interactions

Please continue to show your support for public funding for the arts in Northern Ireland.

We have produced a series of infographics to highlight the key facts & figures about the arts budget and the benefits investment in the arts can bring to the economy and society in Northern Ireland. Click on the images below to download. 

Arts Budget Northern Ireland Facts and Figures Arts and the Economy in Northern Ireland The Arts and Society in Northern Ireland

Evidence - Making a case for the arts [Click Here]
To help you to advocate on behalf of the arts, we’ve produced an Arts Advocacy Toolkit which is available to download below. 

 

Northern Ireland Archive

International Archive

International

Northern Ireland’s arts and artists have made a huge impact on the world stage.

The impact that Northern Ireland’s arts and artists have made on the world stage far exceeds what might be expected from a small country with a small population.

We boast some of the finest writers, actors, artists and musicians in the world today – movie stars Liam Neeson and Kenneth Branagh, rock legend Van Morrison, celebrated flautist James Galway, Ireland’s ‘first family of Folk’, the Sands Family, Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney, twice-Turner prize-nominated artist Willie Doherty, playwrights Brian Friel and Marie Jones... to name but a handful of the world-renowned artists whose work continues to put Northern Ireland on the international cultural map.

In addition to the well-established names, Northern Ireland continues to produce gifted artists and arts organisations who are making a strong international impression.

Northern Ireland

The Arts make a major contribution to life in Northern Ireland.

They make a strong contribution to the economy, with our excellent arts venues driving the night-time economy, our distinctive arts and cultural attractions drawing visitors and business to the region, and our Creative Industries rapidly becoming one of our main sources of job and wealth creation.

The arts are also firmly engaged at the heart of community life in Northern Ireland – in schools helping to build young people’s confidence and communications skills; in care homes helping older people to cope with isolation and loneliness; in our hospitals introducing a reassuring human dimension to clinical environments; in local neighbourhoods driving the many successful neighbourhood regeneration programmes that are enabling residents to rebuild their communities.

Here are some recent highlights of inspiring work by artists and organisations working in Northern Ireland today, supported by the Arts Council.

Business Support

We provide information seminars and training opportunities for artists and arts organisations.

The Arts Council provides information seminars and training opportunities for artists and arts organisations to strengthen business support in areas such as governance, legislation and funding resources.

The Arts Council is currently engaged in a number of business support initiatives:

Research Projects

Our research programme supports the development of effective policy by gathering evaluation evidence, analysing data and developing artform strategies 

The following projects represent highlights of Strategic Development research programme for 2016/17:

 

  • Arts and Culture in Northern Ireland 2016

Arts and Culture in Northern Ireland (2016) will report on the characteristics and behaviours of adults attending and participating in arts and culture in Northern Ireland based on the findings of an omnibus survey of the resident adult population. The report will form part of the Arts Council's Official Statistics output for 2016/17.

  • Annual Funding Survey

The Annual Funding Survey Provides details on the activities and outputs of core funded arts organisations each year. Data gathered on our investments informs evaluations, funding decisions and future strategy. We will make this data available as an Official Statistic in 2016/17.

  • Young People and Wellbeing Programme Evaluation

In collaboration with the Public Health Agency, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland will manage a three year evaluation of its pioneering Young People and Wellbeing Programme which aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people by engagement in high quality arts. 

Research Publications

 

 

 

To sign up for Research and Strategy Publication Notifications and News complete the form below

Research News

 

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Complaints

If you wish to make a complaint, we have a procedure for you to use.

Should you have any queries about how to go about making a complaint please email complaints@artscouncil-ni.org

Complaints Procedure

This procedure applies to complaints about services supplied directly by the Arts Council or by third party organisations/individuals funded by the Arts Council. It does not apply to complaints from organisations/individuals who have been rejected for funding or who feel they have not received sufficient funding. Such complaints should be dealt with under the Funding Review  procedure.

Complaints from members of the general public over funding decisions should be dealt with under this Service Complaints procedure.

Please note that the Arts Council will only consider complaints made in writing as formal complaints.  The Arts Council will not record remarks/complaints made by telephone, or on social media as complaints. 

INFORMAL TELEPHONE COMPLAINTS

Complaints should be directed to the most appropriate member of staff connected with the subject of the complaint, eg the relevant Artform officer if the complaint is from or about a funded organisation; or, a member of the communications team if the complaint is about something that appeared in the press.

If you are unsure who to talk to, the switchboard operator will assist in identifying the most appropriate person.

The officer will try to resolve the issue immediately.

 

If you are not satisfied with the answer given by the officer the next step is to make a formal complaint in writing to the Complaints Administrator.

Complaints made in writing

Complaints made in writing (letter, fax, or e-mail), should be addressed to the Complaints Administrator who will acknowledge receipt within 2 working days and will  log the correspondence as a formal complaint.

(A) Stage 1:  If the complaint is about a direct Arts Council service

The Complaints Administrator will pass the complaint to the Director of Operations who will decide on the  most appropriate member of staff to issue a formal reply.  This reply will be authorised by the officer’s line manager and will be issued within 7 working days of receipt of the complaint from the Complaints Administrator. 

Stage 2: If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of Stage 1 you may ask the Complaints Administrator, in writing, for the Chief Executive to review this response.   Your request will be acknowledged within 2 working days and you will receive a response from the Chief Executive within 10 working days.

Stage 3: If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the Stage 2 Review, you can contact the Ombudsman: Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO), Progressive House, 33 Wellington Place, Belfast     BT1 6HN

Freepost  Freepost NIPSO

Telephone   028 90233821

Free phone   0800 34 34 24

Fax    028 90234912

Text phone   028 90897789

Email   nipso@nipso.org.uk

Website  www.nipso.org.uk

(B) If the complaint is about a third party organisation/individual funded by the Arts Council

The Complaints Administrator will pass the complaint to the Director of Operations who will decide whether or not the complaint is to be handled in-house or whether it needs to be passed to the third party organisation (TPO) for action.

• If the Director of Operations decides that this is an in-house matter the complaint will be responded to within 7 working days.

• If the Director of Operations decides that this is a matter for the TPO to resolve then a copy of the letter of complaint will be forwarded to the TPO within 3 working days. The covering letter will ask the TPO to deal with the matter and reply directly to the original complainant. The Arts Council cannot dictate to another organisation the timeframe within which it should reply to complaints.  However, if a copy of the reply is not received from the TPO within one month, the Complaints Administrator will issue a reminder. If the TPO fails to provide a copy of the reply following a reminder this will be brought to the attention of the Director of Operations who will contact the TPO directly to establish the position.

(C) Anonymous complaints

All written anonymous complaints will be logged as above.  The Director of Operations will decide on the level of investigation into the complaint and the outcome will be recorded on file.


Reporting

A monthly report will be provided to Council on the number of complaints received and outcome within the period.

Policies

The Arts Council is a transparent and open organisation.

The way in which we conduct our work is outlined in a series of policies outlined in this section of our website. You can access our various policy documents by using the search tool below.

 

 

 

Staff List

Placing arts at the heart of our social, economic and creative life.

The Arts Council staff includes art form specialists and support staff who will offer guidance and advice on funding opportunities and project development. Below is a list of staff members at the Arts Council and their contact details.

Freedom of Information

Our website is the main source of information about who we are and what we do.

By using the Search Tool, you will be able to access a wide range of information including publications, policies, and guidelines. Should you have an additional request for information which is not available on our website, please follow the procedures outlined below.
 

Data Protection

Subject Access Requests under the Data Protection Act 1998

If you want to ask us for information which we may hold about you personally then this will be dealt with under the Data Protection Act 1998. This would include information which is limited to you as a person.

If you wish to make a Subject Access Request you should write to:
Operations Officer
Arts Council of Northern Ireland
77 Malone Road
Belfast
BT9 6AQ
email: foi@artscouncil-ni.org

Please specify the kind of information you wish to be made available to you.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 we have 40 working days to provide the information you ask for. If you are unhappy with any aspect of the way in which we deal with your Subject Access Request you may complain to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland or to the Information Commissioner.

If you feel we have failed to disclose information without good reason you may apply to a Court for disclosure.
 

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Publication Scheme

In order to comply with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 public sector organisations such as ours have to routinely publish information whenever possible.

The Information Commissioner, who is responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, has drawn up what is called a Model Publication Scheme for all public sector organisations which we have decided to adopt and formally commit to. The Commissioner has also published a ‘Definition Document for Northern Ireland Non Departmental Public Bodies' which sets out in some detail what his minimum expectations are as far as we are concerned.

We have reviewed the information we routinely put into the public domain to ensure we are compliant with the Definition document. You will be able to see where we don’t hold relevant information or where for some reason we have decided not to routinely disclose information identified in the Definition document by referring to our Publication Scheme Guidance:

Most of the information we make routinely available can be accessed through our website by using the search facility. Such information is continually updated. If you cannot find information through the search engine and we have indicated in the definition document that the information is routinely available this may be because the information cannot be loaded onto our website.

In such circumstances please contact:
Operations Officer
Arts Council of Northern Ireland
77 Malone Road
Belfast
BT9 6AQ
email: foi@artscouncil-ni.org

Please specify the kind of information you wish to be made available to you.

Accessing information which is not included in the Publication Scheme

As an open and transparent organisation we are committed to routinely publishing as much information as possible; however if you want information which is not on our website or otherwise available through our guide to information you may ask us for it in accordance with further provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and of the Environmental Information Regulations 2005.

Requests for such information should be sent to:
Operations Officer
Arts Council of Northern Ireland
77 Malone Road
Belfast
BT9 6AQ
email: foi@artscouncil-ni.org

By law we have to deal with such requests within 20 working days. If you make a request and are not satisfied with the way in which we deal with it you may ask us to review any decision we make.

If you wish us to undertake such a review you should write to:
Operations Officer
Arts Council of Northern Ireland
77 Malone Road
Belfast
BT9 6AQ
email: foi@artscouncil-ni.org

Any review will normally be under the control and direction of a senior member of staff who had no involvement in the original decision or process.
 

Making a complaint

If you remain dissatisfied at the conclusion of any review you may complain to the Information Commissioner whose address is

The Information Commissioner’s Office Northern Ireland
51 Adelaide Street
Belfast
BT2 8FE
Telephone: 028 9026 9380
Fax: 028 9026 9388
Email: ni@ico.gsi.gov.uk
Web: http://www.ico.gov.uk/about_us/regional_offices/northern_ireland.aspx

The Arts Council maintains a list of requests made under Freedom of Information. An anonymised list of these queries for the last financial year is available by clicking here.


Fees and Charges

The Freedom of Information Act and the associated Fees Regulations stipulate that we cannot levy a fee for information unless there is a statutory basis for doing so or the amount of time taken to locate the information exceeds 18 hours. However we are allowed to charge for disbursements related to the provision of information and any reformatting requested by the applicant provided we ensure that applicants are aware of any charges which may be made.

No charges will be made for any information accessed via our website.

Fees charged for Freedom of Information requests are dependent on a number of factors including the volume of material requested.  Responses to enquiries that cost the Arts Council of Northern Ireland less than £450 to process will be normally be provided free of charge. The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has the right to refuse to respond to a request that is estimated to cost more than £450 to process. If the cost is greater than £450 and you agree to pay these costs the Arts Council of Northern Ireland will normally provide you with the information once the fee has been paid.

If you want any further information about the provision of information or have any difficulty accessing information provided on our website please contact the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

 

Board Meetings

The Executive

The Executive of the Arts Council

​The Executive is responsible for the implementation and delivery of the strategies set out by the board of the Arts Council.

Board Biographies

The Board consists of the Chair plus 11 members and meets on a regular basis.

The Board members, including Chairperson, John Edmund and Vice-Chair, Dr Katy Radford, are drawn from a broad cross-section of representatives from the arts and cultural sector.

If you need to contact the Board please email council@artscouncil-ni.org

 

Publications & Policies Archive

News Archive

Media Contacts

Championing, developing and investing in the Arts in Northern Ireland.

This section of our website will keep journalists up-to-date with the latest news from the Arts Council.

If you are from the media and have an enquiry outside the normal office hours, please contact:

 

Angela Warren, Media Relations Officer, T: 07872840996, E: awarren@artscouncil-ni.org

or

Grainne McCann, Communications Manager, T: 07738543593, E: gmccann@artscouncil-ni.org

 

Please note that our out of office number should be used only in exceptional circumstances and only for urgent media enquiries.

 

Useful Links

Publications & Policies

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