Arts Cuts: Sinn Fein- DUP must be held to answer - Eastwood

SDLP MLA for Foyle, Colum Eastwood.

SDLP MLA for Foyle, Colum Eastwood.

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Cuts in arts funding will have devastating consequences for several groups in Derry, SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood has said.

The Nerve Centre, Guildhall Press, Verbal Arts Centre, Derry Theatre Trust, The Playhouse, and Greater Shantallow Community Arts are among 27 groups to have their funding slashed by the Arts Council in 2015-16.

Mr Eastwood said the funding deficit would have a very severe impact on development of the arts in Derry.

“As a direct result of the DUP-Sinn Fein austerity budget bodies which are central to the development of the arts in our city are facing a very uncertain future. These cuts are a crippling blow for the groups affected and will have devastating consequences for some of them. The move flies in the face of any commitment to develop the arts in Derry.

“The very positive impact that investment in the arts can have on growing the economy has been obvious in Derry in recent years and it’s important that it continues.”

Mr Eastwood added: “Just days after the Culture minister admitted there is no money to fund her promises on Derry’s City of Culture legacy, it’s announced by the Arts Council – which is funded by her department - that some of our most valuable arts organisations are losing out as well.”

“Sinn Fein and DUP must now answer to these organisations which are the very backbone of the arts in our city of culture.”