‘Derry receives less than £21 per capita’ - Martina Anderson queries extent of arts spending

Foyle MLA Martina Anderson asked the Minister for Communities, how she intends to tackle regional inequalities in the allocation of arts funding across the North.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 1:15 pm
Martina Anderson. Photo: Pacemaker Press
Martina Anderson. Photo: Pacemaker Press

The Sinn Féin representative told her Assembly colleagues that Derry receives less than £21 per head of population in the allocation of arts funding.

In response to Ms. Anderson’s question, Minister for the Communities Deirdre Hargey said that she had met with artists from Derry and elsewhere in the North West whereby the issue of regional disparity was raised.

“I agree with most of what was in the paper that they put forward, and I know that it is reflective of organisations in other parts of the North,’’ the Minister said. ‘‘We will look at a renewed culture and arts strategy. For me, equality of access and participation and the issue of how public funding is spent will be important considerations as part of that strategy. I gave a commitment to taking a co-design approach with organisations, the sector and the community on the ground in devising that strategy,’’ she added.

Ms. Anderson responded: ‘‘For me, it is always about standing up for Derry...Compared with Belfast, Derry receives less than £21 per head of population in the allocation of arts funding. Will the Minister ensure that there is a robust and dedicated strategy to tackle that stark inequality?”

Ms. Hargey told the Foyle MLA: “It is my commitment that, as part of the review and strategy, the equality issue around access and participation with regard to public funding will be one of the strategy’s key considerations.’’