Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland arts organisations' budgets cut

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Media captionThe Arts Council met with the organisations to tell them of the cuts

The Arts Council has told many of the large organisations it funds to plan for possible cuts from budgets they have already been awarded.

The council will decide how to implement cuts in September.

It has said it will consider evidence from the arts sector and the savings the council itself can make before reaching a decision.

The Arts Council faces a 2.1% immediate cut and a proposed further 2.3% cut in October.

The 37 affected organisations have been told to plan for potential cuts of 5% from the budgets they have already been granted, almost half way through the financial year.

They include the Ulster Orchestra, theatres like the Lyric and the Mac in Belfast, companies such as Tinderbox and a number of art galleries.

The Lyric has been told to work out how it could save £50,000 while the Belfast circus could lose £4,000.

The organisations have been asked to outline what impact this will have on their programmes, staffing, services, audiences and participants.

The proposals have to be delivered to the Arts Council by next Thursday.

The council said no decision has been made yet on how it will save the money, but that it will try to mitigate the effect on arts organisations.

The cuts stem from the June monitoring round, a budget reallocation at the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Of the £78m cuts announced in the monitoring round, the three hardest hit departments were Employment and Learning, which is losing £16m, Justice, which is facing a £22m cut and Social Development, which is losing £13m.

The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) will lose £2m.

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