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Sinn Féin back demand for £10 per head Arts spending

25 April, 2007

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MLA Barry McElduff, the Chair of the Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee designate has said that the level of Arts spending here is an absolute disgrace and backed calls for an increase in per head expenditure to a minimum of £10.

Mr McElduff will join Arts campaigners in the Writers Square, Belfast today, Wednesday 25th April at 10.30 am.

Speaking ahead of the protest Mr McElduff said:

"Arts spending in this part of Ireland is among the lowest anywhere in Western Europe. Current per capita spend on the arts here is £6.13 which is less than half the spend in the rest of Ireland which is currently £12.46.

"Spending on Arts and Culture is about much more than the Ulster Orchestra. It is about more than enhancing the quality of life. Community arts in particular promotes development, social inclusion and allows people to explore and understand local identity.

"Apart from the intrinsic social value of arts and culture, there is also significant scope to enhance the economy, to drive local economic regeneration and the tourism sector." ENDS

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