Investment In The Arts And Sport Can Strengthen The Economy

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 12 October 2010

Reference: CAL 03/10/11

The Assembly Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure has called for investment in the arts, cultural activities and sports, saying it is not a burden but a net contributor to the economy and can stimulate local jobs. This follows the Committee’s meeting today at the Beam Creative Network (BEAM), Donaghmore.

BEAM was established to create local employment and to develop the arts and sport with people of all age groups, exploring various themes including conflict resolution, anti-social behaviour, inclusion and celebrating cultures.

Committee Chairperson, Barry McElduff MLA said: “Although we are now in a very difficult financial period, the Committee believes that investment in sport and the arts can simulate economic growth and jobs and meet government objectives across many departments.

“We believe that, just as the United States paid for writers and artists to work at their craft during the Great Depression in the 1930s, it would be a positive step for our government to support the creative industries.

“We have an enormous amount of artistic and sporting talent here and we urge Government Departments to use this talent to improve the economic prospects for our society.”

During the visit, the Committee received briefings from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure on cultural diversity and from Pobal on the Irish language strategy. Carntogher Community Association also briefed the Committee on its range of economic, social, cultural, and environmental projects which are aimed at developing a prosperous and environmental sustainable rural community.