The Chair welcomed Members back to the first physical meeting of the Committee. He referred to his opening remarks at the previous meeting whereby he had stated that Council and the Business and Culture Committee in particular, had a key role to play in the economic recovery post Covid-19. He referred to recent discussions by the Strategic Growth Partnership that alluded to a high number of imminent job losses throughout the City and District. He also referred to concerns raised by his party colleague Ms Sinead McLaughlin, MLA regarding the lack of investment opportunities in the City and District and that 82% of new jobs where located in Belfast and other Council areas and not in Derry.
He further referred to the recent publication of an outline plan for economic recovery by the Economy Minister entitled ‘Rebuilding a Stronger Economy – Pathway of Recovery’ and expressed concern that there was no indication of providing targeted support and it was important that this remained on the agenda in all future discussions with Government Officials.
The Chair also referred to a recent Government announcement that the UK’s arts, culture and heritage industries will receive £1.57 billion rescue package to help with the economic impact of coronavirus; and Northern Ireland will be allocated £33m from the support package towards arts venues. He urged that Council would take a lead role on behalf of the arts and cultural organisations represented within the City and District Council area to ensure that the funding support be provided.
Councillor’s McCann and McCloskey joined the meeting.
The Chair subsequently proposed, seconded by Councillor Cusack that Council lobby the Executive to ensure that the entire £33m was allocated to cultural/arts organisations and individuals and that Council also lobby the relevant Department tasked with the delivery of that funding to ensure that venues, organisations and individuals across the DCSDC area would receive a fair share of the funding.
Recommended that Council lobby the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure that
the entire £33m be allocated to
cultural/arts organisations and
individuals and that the relevant
Department tasked with the
delivery of the funding would
ensure that venues, organisations
and individuals across the DCSDC area in particular would receive a fair share of the funding.