Culture, Arts and Leisure 17 June 2014

Session: 2013/2014

Date: 17 June 2014


William Irwin asked the culture minister about an increase in the funding for the Arts Council's musical instruments for bands scheme.

He said that bands were limited to £5,000 per application and that whilst this was useful for flute bands it was not so useful for pipe and accordion bands.

Minister Caral Ni Chuilin said that £200,000 had been made available for the scheme for each of the past three years.

She was sympathetic to Mr Irwin's argument, saying that for Irish traditional bands the price of fiddles and uilleann pipes could run into "tens of thousands".

The minister said she would be happy to speak to the Arts Council.

David McIlveen raised the question of the ongoing loyalist demonstration at Ardoyne in north Belfast.

He asked the minister if she agreed that it was "very damaging for our tourist product to send out a message that the celebration of culture in Northern Ireland is conditional".

"I'm not really sure that spending £9m on policing Twaddell Avenue is the best example of cultural tourism or the promotion of culture," Ms Ni Chuilin replied.

"I don't think it has anything to do with culture," she said.

Sporting Facilities, Regent House School, Football Stadia Funding and the Milk Cup were the topics for the Minister to answer during the 15 minutes of Topical Questions.

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