Unsupported beliefs about the geographic and demographic spread of arts funding have been refuted in the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s (ACNI) 2007/8 Review. More than half of ACNI’s main funding goes directly to the most deprived areas of Northern Ireland. At the launch of the report, Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive of ACNI (pictured), pointed out that “arts funding is neither ‘a middle income, middle class interest’ nor is it ‘centred on Belfast’. In fact the arts engage fully across all areas of society.”
There is a wide spread of funding across Northern Ireland, with 85% (£2.03m) of the money for the Art of Regeneration Programme being awarded outside Belfast. 73% (£24.4m) of Capital Building Awards (since 1995) and 58% (£1.4m) of funds for the Re-imagining Communities Programme were spent on projects outside the capital.