Council Injects £2.4
into Local Arts-Led Regeneration Projects
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland today allocated £2.4
million to local authorities to help them target arts projects at
areas in need of social and economic regeneration.
The money has been made available through the Arts Council’s
new Lottery-funded ‘Art of Regeneration’ programme, in
partnership with the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL).
The programme supports local authorities throughout Northern Ireland
in the development and delivery of arts projects that will tackle issues
of concern to local communities, such as good relations, the environment
and anti-social behaviour.
Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development at the Arts
Council, explains, “We developed the Art of Regeneration
programme to encourage our local authorities to exploit the rich
contribution that the arts can make at local community level. Unlocking
the creative potential of groups not traditionally active in the
arts will offer fresh positive experiences and creative solutions
to those difficulties experienced at a neighbourhood level. The arts
projects will help to change attitudes and connect people across
the various barriers that divide us.”
The Council areas that benefit directly from Art of Regeneration
funding are: Craigavon (£336,681), Derry City (£180,254),
Moyle (£147,215), Ballymoney (£168,450), Antrim (£201,750),
North Down (£187,000), Strabane (£248,000), Fermanagh (£339,300)
and Newtownabbey (£221,350). The projects range from functional
public art in children’s play areas made out of recycled materials
and drawing on the positive experiences of local community groups;
building on a shared community interest in traditional music to enhance
cross-community activity; and art and safety projects.
Stressing the need for a long-term, multi-agency, commitment to regeneration,
Ms McKinney continued, “There are no quick-fix solutions to our
endemic social problems. Effective regeneration requires a sustained,
joined-up approach to delivery. Consequently, the Art of Regeneration
programme supports arts projects that will normally run over a four-year
period and which forge new partnerships between a wide range of public
bodies and community groups. This innovative collaborative approach
will provide the model and act as the spur for further sustainable
developmental activity at local community level. And the legacy for
all of us will be an increased level of social and cultural exchange,
leading to tolerance and respect, civic pride, local empowerment, and
a safer, more prosperous Northern Ireland.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
|| The £2.4 million ‘Art of Regeneration’ programme
is funded by the Arts Council’s National Lottery Fund (£2m)
along with substantial partnership funding provided by the Department
of Culture, Arts and Leisure (£400k).
|| The Art of Regeneration is strategic in both intent and delivery.
For this reason, funding was not spread evenly across the 26 districts
of Northern Ireland, but instead used to address key developmental
projects where greatest need was identified.
A separate announcement will be made for Belfast City Council under
this programme, for Belfast’s centenary cultural celebrations
|| National Lottery-funded schemes require applicants to secure
additional partnership funding. The minimum partnership funding
required from non-Lottery, non-Arts Council sources over the period
of the ‘Art of Regeneration’ award is 25 percent.
||District Council contact information:
- Craigavon Borough Council (inc. Craigavon,
Banbridge, Cookstown, Armagh, Dungannon) – Emma Wilson,
Tel: 028 38341618.
- Derry City Council – Brendan McMenamin,
Tel: 028 71365151
- Moyle District Council – Bridgeen Butler,
Tel: 028 20762225
- Ballymoney Borough Council – Margaret
Edgar, Tel: 028 27660229
- Antrim Borough Council – Gary Shaw,
Tel: 028 94428000
- North Down Borough Council – Gail Prentice,
Tel: 028 91278032
- Strabane District Council – Karen
McFarland, Tel: 028 71382204
- Fermanagh District Council – Robert
Gibson, Tel: 028 66325050
- Newtownabbey Borough Council – Cathy
Cole, Tel: 028 90340063
||The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is the lead development
agency for the arts in Northern Ireland, supporting artists and
arts organisations through its Treasury and National Lottery funds.
|| Background notes on successful ‘Art of Regeneration’ applicants:
- CRAIGAVON BOROUGH COUNCIL.
“The ‘Regenerate’ project is something
new, fresh and exciting. By placing artists within the community
we want to encourage people to look at their locality in a different
way and express their ideas and thoughts about making positive changes
to their area. This three-year residency project presents a great
opportunity for people from different walks of life to make a change
to the face of Craigavon by being creative. We are very excited about
our partnership with neighbouring councils and we feel that by putting
our heads together and sharing our ideas and skill all our services
and the communities they serve can benefit.” – Emma
Wilson, Arts Development Officer, Craigavon Borough Council.
“Banbridge District Council is delighted to be involved
in the ‘Regenerate’ arts project which aims to bring
the creative arts to local communities driving social exchange, regeneration
and change over the next three years. We are particularly grateful
to the Arts Council for the essential funding being provided which
will ensure the effective delivery of this innovative programme in
partnership with our neighbouring councils of Armagh, Craigavon,
Cookstown, Dungannon and Tyrone.” – Mike
Reith, Director of Leisure Services, Banbridge District Council.
“I am delighted that we have been successful in securing
funding under the Arts Council’s ‘Art of Regeneration’ programme.
Our partnership with Banbridge, Armagh, Craigavon and Dungannon and
South Tyrone Councils is one which we feel is very well placed to
offer accessibility of various art forms to a variety of groups of
people who would otherwise be unable to participate in cultural life
and the arts. The ‘Art of Regeneration’ will indeed go
a long way to regenerating our local communities, creating long-lasting
benefits and enhancing the all important ‘feel good’ factor
which only art can offer.” – Linda McGarvey,
Arts and Cultural Development Officer, Cookstown District Council.
“Our aim is to provide equality of opportunity for
the residents of the Borough by breaking down the barriers of accessibility
to the ‘arts’ and decreasing the marginalisation of groups.
Through participation in the arts, the quality of life of local communities
can be improved.” – Aine Dolan, Community
Arts Officer, Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council.
The ‘Regenerate’ project will place artists in residence
in areas in need of regeneration throughout the five Southern Board
council areas of Armagh, Banbridge, Cookstown, Craigavon, and Dungannon
and South Tyrone. Over a three-year period, the artists will work
with diverse groups of people to tackle community issues at a local
level, such as tackling anti-social behaviour by providing alternative
activities. The project will empower local communities to creatively
explore diversity, which will lead to a legacy of civic pride, ownership
of their areas and enhanced quality of life. Potential partners in
the project would include health agencies, community safety organisations,
community and voluntary groups.
“It is anticipated that the projects funded under the
scheme will be of benefit to the local community and be in addition
and outside of existing provisions in the area. The projects will
be established in an effort to encourage local ownership through
active participation and be environmentally friendly, imaginative
and creative in design, and be of lasting benefit to the local community.” – Councillor
Gearoíd Ó’hEára, Mayor.
The ‘Art of Regeneration’ project will combine the
resources of seven local authorities in the North West. Derry City
Council is investing in nine recycling/community renewal centres
spread across its area, and will place artists in these centres to
help develop imaginative projects that will actively engage local
people in a range of economic, social and community issues. Over
a four-year period, the arts projects will promote active citizenship
and make positive physical change to the public environment, leaving
the legacy of a cohesive and confident community.
The ‘Spreading Wings’ project aims to unlock creativity
within Ballycastle and its surrounding district by offering new opportunities
for interaction between the arts and society. Exploiting the wealth
of storytelling heritage in these areas, the four-year project will
develop creative meeting points for participants from varying backgrounds
and levels of social inclusion. This will lead to a re-examining
of situations with fresh eyes and the development of sustainable
relationships formed across previous social and community boundaries.
- BALLYMONEY BOROUGH COUNCIL.
“Ballymoney Borough Council is delighted to receive
funding through this exciting initiative ‘The Art of Regeneration’.
We look forward to working in partnership with Coleraine Borough
Council and with a wide range of community groups across the two
boroughs to bring the project to fruition over the next 4 years.
Young people’s play areas are not just about physical activity.
We want to make them visually exciting spaces which encourage creativity
and inspire imaginations. Funding through The Art of Regeneration
will help us to achieve this goal.” - Councillor
Cecil Cousley, Mayor of Ballymoney.
The ‘Art of Recycling’ project will improve children’s
play areas within the Ballymoney and Coleraine Borough Council areas.
Over a four-year period, six artists will be employed to work with
community associations to create functional public art for these play
areas. The artists, working with women’s groups, men’s
groups, mothers and toddlers play groups, youth groups and older people’s
and other community groups, will focus on creating artworks that
relate specifically to the collective experience of those living
in these areas. As waste management is currently one of the major
challenges for councils, the recycling of waste and scrap materials
in an environmentally-friendly way will be a key theme of the project.
“Our project consortium, consisting of Antrim, Ballymena
and Magherafelt District and Borough Councils are delighted to hear
that our application to the ‘Art of Regeneration’ programme
has been successful. The grant award, totalling £201,750, with
additional contributions from each of the project partners, will
assist with the development of new collaborative working arrangements
for the delivery of progressive community-based arts programmes to
address regeneration and community safety themes across each of the
Council areas.” – Gary Shaw, Cultural Services
Manager, Antrim Borough Council.
The ‘Art and Safety’ project will introduce creative
solutions to community safety concerns across the local authority
areas of Antrim, Ballymena and Magherafelt. A multi-agency approach,
involving partnerships between arts and cultural representatives
and the health, education, social welfare, criminal justice, probationary
and policing authorities, will tackle local safety priorities such
as car crime, anti-social behaviour and substance abuse. The partnership
will explore areas of commonality, leading to a coherent approach
to local community safety.
- NORTH DOWN BOROUGH COUNCIL.
“North Down Borough Council was offered an award of £187,000
to work in partnership with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive,
North Down Local Strategy Partnership and the Police Service of Northern
Ireland to use visual art, specifically public art, to influence
regeneration, with the aim of reducing anti-social behaviour and
fear of crime in two housing executive extates in North Down.” – Gail
Prentice, Arts Officer, North Down Borough Council.
The ‘Art and Anti-Social Behaviour’ project will use
public art to influence the reduction of anti-social behaviour and
fear of crime in the most disadvantaged wards in the area. Sectarian
murals pose a major problem in Loughview, Dufferin and Clandeboye;
so artists will work with residents to encourage the replacement
of existing gable-end murals with positive murals reflecting a positive
sense of community spirit developed through an exchange of ideas
and stories based on mutual understanding and respect. Starting with
the Kilcooley and Redburn estates, the four-year Art of Regeneration
funding should spearhead further regeneration projects in the remaining
six housing estates in the area.
- STRABANE DISTRICT COUNCIL.
“Strabane District Council has been awarded £248,000
for a joint arts regeneration project in partnership with Omagh District
Council. It will involve a multi-media arts programme including the
visual and performing arts, multi-media and literature. This innovative
community arts project will be focused on the Ballycolman and Villages
Together areas in Strabane; and Camowen and Carrickmore areas in
Omagh. Arts facilitators will work within communities to explore
issues such as regeneration, the environment, good relations, and
health over a four-year period.” – Karen
McFarland, Head of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Strabane District Council.
The ‘Connect’ project will develop arts projects relating
to the environment, good relations and anti social behaviour within
the Strabane and Omagh District Council areas, specifically Camown
Ward, Carrickmore, Ballycolman estate and the rural communities north
of Strabane which are represented by the Villages Together Network.
A cross-sectoral partnership approach will enable artists to engage
with the communities of these areas over a four-year period, leading
to an enhancement of quality of life, health and well-being.
- FERMANAGH DISTRICT COUNCIL.
“The Fermanagh District Council Art of Regeneration
Project is a four-year grass roots multi-disciplinary creative arts
outreach project. The main focus of which is on self-perpetuation
and high quality creative community arts output. There are five major
developmental and social inclusion artistic strands which are carnival
arts, environmental, music, drama and contemporary dance.” – Robert
Gibson, Director of Environment Services, Fermanagh District Council.
The ‘Arts of Regeneration Grass-Roots Participatory Project’ will
provide an extensive range of arts provision to areas with an existing
weak arts infrastructure. The four-year initiative will motivate social
regeneration through a ‘grass roots’ arts programme that
will embrace people from all walks of life and involve communities
that perceive themselves as to some extent excluded, whether through
cultural difference, physical or learning disability or rural location.
- NEWTOWNABBEY BOROUGH COUNCIL.
“The East Antrim Traditional Music School and Newtownabbey
and Larne Borough Councils are pleased to learn of their success
in being awarded £221,350 to develop their project to contribute
significantly to the regeneration of the culture of playing traditional
music in the largely Protestant communities of South East Antrim
and address the mistaken notion that traditional music belongs to
only one side of the religious and political divide. The project
will introduce a facility for tuition in traditional music within
the local communities and liaise with local primary and secondary
schools with a view to introducing peripatetic tutors within each
partner borough.” – Martin Shane
The aim of this four-year Art and Regeneration project is to strengthen
the community infrastructure within South East Antrim by widening access
to the culture of playing traditional music in the area and thereby
encourage the sense of ownership of this art form across religious,
social and political divides. The development of cross-community activity
amongst people with a shared interest, and the integration of musicians
from different cultural backgrounds, will help to foster better relations
and reduce community tensions. The legacy of the project will be its
success in addressing those issues of cultural identity that both Protestants
and Catholics share and in developing a cultural resource for the benefit
of all in the wider communities.