Committee sees the Best the Cathedral Quarter has to Offer
Date: Thursday, 03 May 2012
Reference: SD 11/11/12
The Committee for Social Development visited the Cathedral Quarter today where they were given a tour of the new Belfast MAC and a walking tour of the area. Pictured with members of the Belfast Circus School are (l-r) Michael Copeland MLA, Paula Bradley MLA, Chairperson Alex Maskey MLA and Deputy Chairperson Mickey Brady
The Assembly Committee for Social Development today visited Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter where it held its weekly meeting in the recently opened Belfast Metropolitan Arts Centre (MAC).
Members were given a behind the scenes tour of the Belfast MAC and also met with representatives of the Cathedral Quarter Steering Group who organised a walking tour of the area.
As well as getting an opportunity to see a number of innovative art projects, the Committee visited the Belfast Circus School where they sat in on a rehearsal for the annual Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival which starts today.
Speaking after the visit, Committee Chairperson, Alex Maskey MLA said: “The Committee was invited to come to the new Belfast MAC following its consideration earlier this year of the issues surrounding the withdrawal and temporary reinstatement of DSD’s Laganside Events Grant.
“We were very impressed with what we have seen here today. The MAC is quite evidently a jewel in the crown of the Cathedral Quarter. However, the Committee also recognises that it is the wider arts community as a whole which has laid the foundation and vision for the regeneration of the Cathedral Quarter.
“The Committee saw today how a relatively small amount of money from the Events Grant can produce a vibrant arts festival programme of events ranging across the music, comedy, theatrical and cinematic spectrums. The commitment and enthusiasm of the performers and participants we have met also underlines the commitment of the local arts community to the continued development and rejuvenation of this important area.
“Grant aid spent in the right way can be a major social and economic investment in the regeneration of an area, and the Committee has certainly witnessed this today. This positive contribution should be at the forefront of discussions between the Minister and his Executive colleagues when considering the future funding arrangements for arts groups.”
Pictured at the Cathedral Quarter are (l-r) Deputy Chairperson Mickey Brady MLA and Chairperson Alex Maskey MLA.
Pictured at the Four Chairs and a Table exhibition are Members of the Committee.
Notes to Editors:
At today’s meeting the Committee heard from Minister for Social Development, Nelson McCausland MLA on the Departmental Corporate Plan and the PfG Service Delivery Plans.
Bryson Charitable Group also updated Members on the Warm Homes Scheme.
The Committee for Social Development membership is:
Alex Maskey MLA (Chairperson)
Mickey Brady MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
Paula Bradley MLA
Pam Brown MLA
Judith Cochrane MLA
Michael Copeland MLA
Mark H Durkan MLA
Alex Easton MLA
Fra McCann MLA
David McClarty MLA
Alastair Ross MLA
The Clerk of the Social Development Committee is:
Dr. Kevin Pelan
Northern Ireland Assembly
Phone: 028 90 521864