£3.3million to re-imagine..

Initial reports of the £3.3million fund announced today by the NIO focused on how the money would be spent replacing loyalist paramilitary murals, but subsequent to the statement released by the Dept Culture, Arts and Leisure the BBC, which initially followed the earlier line, has shifted to the official version, quoting Culture Minister Maria Eagle [whose department appears to have no say in the actual funding programme – Ed] “New murals and public art [which] will transform parks, housing estates and built-up areas across Northern Ireland, celebrating the aspirations of the whole community and helping people feel part of their own local community.” – although the Minister also states “The purpose of the ‘Re-Imaging Communities Programme’ will be to engage local people and their communities in finding ways of replacing divisive murals and emblems with more positive imagery.” A three year funding programme according to the Arts CouncilAccording to the DCAL statement:

The new programme will support a wide range of community led projects with grants of up to £5,000 for small projects and up to £50,000 for larger projects. It builds on the success of the Arts Council’s previous ‘Art of Regeneration’ programme.

Let’s hope we get a breakdown of where exactly the money is being spent…

Also tucked away in the statement is this:

The Minister also announced a new £100,000 ‘Place, Identity and Arts’ small grants programme, aimed at fostering arts projects promoted by groups which have difficulties on religious and moral grounds with accessing funding from the National Lottery. This programme is also one of the actions in the Renewing Communities Action Plan.

Interestingly, despite the appearance of the Culture Minister Maria Eagle, and the quotes attributed to her, the Note to Editors in the statement does not mention the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure as being involved in the project:


The Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI) leads in the project and other partners include the Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers (OFMDFM); the Department for Social Development (DSD and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE).

The Re-Imaging Communities Programme will be managed by a Shared Communities Consortium made up of the Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers (OFMDFM); the Department for Social Development (DSD); the Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI); the Community Relations Council (CRC); the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) and; the International Fund for Ireland (IFI).

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