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Arts organisations meet DCAL committee to discuss cuts

DCAL committee members discuss funding concerns with arts organisations at The Mac in Belfast. Picture by Mal McCann

ARTS organisations facing funding pressures met with members of the assembly's culture, arts and leisure committee yesterday to discuss their frustrations.

Representatives from almost 30 groups gathered at The Mac in Belfast to explain how savage cuts will affect their work.

Among those at the discussions were representatives of the Lyric Theatre and Grand Opera House in Belfast, Derry's Playhouse Theatre and the Ulster Orchestra.

Thirty-two of the north's biggest arts bodies face cuts in their funding from the Arts Council.

They have been told to plan for in-year reductions of up to 10 per cent.

For most of the organisations, the Arts Council is their largest single source of income.

The council itself is facing an eight per cent cut - a shortfall of £870,000 - from DCAL.

Some of the arts groups have warned they may not survive.

Last week hundreds of people protested outside Stormont at the "disproportionate" cuts in the arts budget.

The protestors said arts organisations cannot sustain constant reductions in their grants and performances, shows and jobs are at risk.

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