Trust helping Arts Sector to look at Funding

Trust helping Arts Sector to look at Funding

13 November 2015

This week the Trust has been hosting a series of events across Northern Ireland with Arts & Business NI looking at and examining alternative sources of financing for arts and cultural organisations.

Consultations were held across the week in Derry and Belfast, with a host of arts organisations attending to feed into the process.

This project is part of the Trust’s Social Finance theme exploring new forms of investment, finance and support to create a more sustainable Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector.

Arts & Business NI advocate the importance of a mix of public and private investment in the Arts and are passionately committed to supporting the sector in finding the capacity to grow and develop in these challenging times.

The project will consider how arts and cultural organisations might generate additional income from existing work or develop new income streams and the sorts of investment needed to support this. This investment might take a variety of forms.

Examples include: community share issues, loans to ease bumps in cash-flow, pre-funding of fundraising, profit sharing arrangements which provide up front capital for new developments, and crowd funding, amongst others.

Attendees considered a wide range of strategic issues facing the Arts Sector and Funding, including current issues and challenges in the funding environment for arts and cultural organisations in Northern Ireland and alternative forms of finance and their potential to help address these issues and challenges.

As well as, crucially, the barriers to the use of alternative forms of finance in this context.

This week’s events form just one part of the consultancy process and the Trust will be publishing a full report into the findings in 2016.

Nigel McKinney, Director of Operations, Building Change Trust said: "We are delighted to be working with Arts & Business NI to explore the potential of social investment to finance the activity of the arts and cultural sector in Northern Ireland.

"These events mark the first stage in our detailed research in this area and we're looking forward to hear more about the capacity, knowledge and ambition in the sector so we can design our work going forward to have the most impact". 

Mary Nagele, Chief Executive, Arts & Business NI remarked: “We are grateful to the arts organisations who have already participated in the consultations and would encourage them and others in the Arts sector to also complete the online survey.

"We are delighted to be working with Building Change Trust on this important research which will look at initiatives in other regions such as the Arts Impact Fund and explore the potential to create such a fund for the Arts in NI considering hybrid models of social loans, public and private funding".