News | Durkan: arts sector cannot afford any further delay

Durkan: arts sector cannot afford any further delay

SDLP Arts Spokesperson, Mark H Durkan MLA has welcomed an intervention from actor Liam Neeson, who has joined the Foyle MLA in calling for urgent action regarding the £33 million support package for the arts sector.

The Foyle MLA commented:

“I welcome the heartfelt appeal from Liam Neeson, who understands more than most, the critical role the arts plays in our communities and across society. I hope his appeal to the Executive is heard and the Communities Minister will take urgent action. Our arts sector, and the more than 8000 people employed in this sector, cannot afford any more delay.”

“It is completely unacceptable that this funding was received in July and it is yet to be allocated. Given this was already four months into the pandemic; it should have been treated with absolute urgency. I have raised this with the Minister on a number of occasions and I will continue to do so until we get a resolution.”

“I will continue to bang the drum for the arts sector; as even before the imposition of lockdown their venues, practitioners and patrons felt the impact of this pandemic. Continued venue closures means that their ability to generate an income is non-existent.”

He continued:

“Getting the money into the Department is one thing, getting it out is another. It is crucial that Minister Ní Chuilín and her officials now liaise with the sector and relevant bodies, to design a scheme that will ensure this money gets to where it is needed in the quickest way possible.”

Mark H Durkan MLA

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