10-Oct-2014 in Business & the Economy

As you may be aware, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) have indicated that their events fund, which distributed £1.1m to 65 different events across NI in its last round of grants, will not operate in 2015/16. #LightsOutNI is a campaign to reinstate this fund given its enormous benefit to tourism and the cultural economy.


This news came very shortly after the particularly successful Culture Night 2014 in Belfast (for whom this fund supported about a third of its operating budget), highlighting the enormous impact of what is a  relatively small investment of public money, and the degree of loss should this funding not be available in the future.

A wide range of festivals and events across Northern Ireland, including the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, Belfast Children’s Festival, are affected. (See details of those funding this year on the NITB website). Many of these events have a craft component - particularly through accompanying craft exhibitions/fairs.

Following public meetings in the Black Box and Oh Yeah Music Centre, a Facebook site - Lights Out NI - was launched recently and has attracted over 9,000 subscribers.

The campaign is calling for all to:

  • Go  to the Facebook site and Like, Share and Follow / select Notifications
  • Take a minute to read the call to action from the Campaign (on Lights Out NI page and below) and participate in any and every way you can
  • As a matter of priority during a time of budget discussions, write to Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and local MLAs outlining the benefits of the Fund to the culture and tourism activity in Northern Ireland and asking for the fund to to be reinstated.









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