Published: 30th Mar 2017

Culture plays a huge role in both social and economic life in Northern Ireland. But can the sector survive austerity? ‘The whole cultural sector is running on fumes’, says Niamh Goggin, summing up the results of her recent study into arts organisations across Northern Ireland, commissioned by Building Change Trust and Arts and Business Northern Ireland. Primarily made up of smaller and medium-sized organisations, and heavily reliant on public funding, Northern Ireland’s cultural sector is struggling as public funding for the arts is cut. While some organisations have lost some or all of their funding from Arts Council NI since cuts begin in 2014, the reality for the majority of arts organisations is one of ‘standstill’ funding, leaving many of them hanging on by a thread. ‘There’s lots of great stuff happening but cultural organisations are being hollowed out,’ says Goggin. ‘They are laying off staff, turning full-time roles into … (To read the full article, subscribe below)