Our Strategy

The Arts Council’s 5-year Strategic Plan provides the strategic direction for the development of the arts in Northern Ireland over the period 2019-2024.

Learn More about Our Strategy
Costume artist Sarah Carey I her studio holding one of her feathered hats
Boosting the Creative Economy

Our funding programmes are linked to the delivery of our strategic plan, the objectives of the Department for Communities, and the Northern Ireland Programme for Government.

Our Vision

The guiding principles of our current 5-year Plan are:


Great art inspires us, nurtures our understanding of who we are and the world around us, and brings us together


The arts are without boundaries. They connect communities, help build creative places, define a new sense of identity, and help us tell our stories, seek out and engage wider audiences. We want to reach out and reach further, bringing people together.


We see our role as enabling and empowering the sector to achieve its ambitions and to speak out for the arts; but we won’t be able to do that alone — we will need to work together to deliver on this promise.

The Arts Council’s 5-year Plan supports the development of arts and culture, as well as demonstrating their critical role in supporting the Department for Communities and the Northern Ireland Executive in meeting their broader strategic objectives.

We are consulting in 2023 on our strategy for 2024-2029.

Business Plan

The actions required to deliver our five-year strategy are broken down into annual deliverables, and are described in our annual Business Plan.

The current Business Plan considers the specific strategic context for the arts in 2023-24, including recovery from the pandemic, the impact of the cost of living crisis, Governmental priorities, the implications of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, responding to environmental challenges, and reflecting the increasing diversity of Northern Ireland society in the audiences, leaders, producers and creators of a progressive and dynamic arts sector.

Our Impact


Annual investment in the arts in NI


Audiences & Participants


Population engagement in Arts


Engaging disadvantaged communities