£9k arts and heritage underspend to be reallocated to NI 100 budget

An underspend of £9,000 from the Causeway Coast & Glens Council Culture Arts and Heritage budget will be reallocated to the NI 100 budget following a meeting of the Leisure & Development Committee, writes Gillian Anderson, Local Democracy Reporter.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 5:13 pm

The Culture Arts and Heritage grant was awarded to 11 applicants including Ballymoney Drama Festival, Comhaltas Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Dún Lathaí, Kingdom of Dalriada Ulster Scots Society and Portrush Summer Theatre, who received £1,000 apiece.

A total of 14 applications were submitted by the closing date with three deemed unsuccessful.

Members were given three options for reallocation of £9,000: Option 1  – Council offers a second tranche of grants during the 21/22 financial year; Option 2 – The underspend is reallocated to the Arts Service programme budget to support community arts development; Option 3 – The underspend is reallocated to central council reserves

UUP Alderman Joan Baird said: “I know the arts have been hit really badly over the past year so I propose we reallocate the underspend to the arts service programme budget to support community arts development.

“I think it’s important not to let this money go out of the arts because it has been hit so very badly over the past year.”

UUP Councillor Richard Holmes seconded the proposal.

DUP Councillor Michelle Knight McQuillan made a second proposal suggesting that instead of redirecting it solely to the arts, that the overspend is redirected to culture, arts and heritage -elated elements of the NI 100 programme.

DUP Councillor Aaron Callan seconded Cllr Knight McQuillan’s proposal saying; “We have a range of programmes that has been agreed by the NI 100 Working Group and quite a successful grant funding which has had an amazing response from a wide range of groups so I think putting that money into this programme would be of benefit.”

SDLP Councillor Ashleen Shenning made a third proposal that “Council offers a second tranche of grants during 21/22 financial year”.

She said: “At the time of the year that this was opened and closed again, most of the voluntary and community sector organisations didn’t know what they were going or what they were doing or whether they were going to be able to open up and be able to deliver again.”

Councillor Margaret Anne McKillop seconded Cllr Schenning’s proposal.

Alderman Baird subsequently withdrew her proposal.

Councillor Schennings proposal fell with six votes for and nine against

Councillor Michelle Knight McQuillan’s proposal that the “£9,000 underspend is reallocated to the NI 100 budget for the purpose of the grant fund currently being considered”, was carried with nine votes for, three abstentions and three against.