MLA calls on business to invest in arts ahead of City of Culture year

SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood
SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood
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The City of Culture year must act as a spring board for more private sector investment in the arts, a Derry MLA has said.

SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood says it is vital to the 2013 legacy that business gets involved in funding the arts.

His comments come after the Derry MLA commissioned research in the Assembly which revealed that between 2009/10 and 2010/11 private funding for the Arts in Britain increased by 5% whilst during the same period falling in the north by 19%.

“A pivotal aspect of the entire City of Culture ambition has always been to ensure that the successes of the year produce a ripple effect, breeding economic and societal benefits well beyond 2013,” the former Derry Mayor says.

“The figures which I have received indicate that more work is needed in order to convince business to invest in the Arts. For this city, next year will obviously play a major part in this.

“Private sector investment in the Arts should not be viewed as a charitable venture. Business stands to gain from association and cooperation with the Arts.”

Mr Eastwood says that in particular there are “massive opportunities within the Creative Industries which depend and thrive from a seamless relationship between business and the arts.”

“Next year will be provide an unmatched amphitheatre in which to showcase and promote these opportunities. It is important that we all endeavour to sell this message,” he says.