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The SDLP's Culture, Arts and Leisure Spokesperson Karen McKevitt MLA has welcomed a report by the Arts Council on Local Authority Expenditure which details the level of spend from each council area on the Arts putting Newry and Mourne in 8th position with the former 26 councils!

Mrs McKevitt said that councils must do all they can to stimulate the arts and creative industries in order to attract investment.

The MLA said, “I want to welcome the report on Local Authority Expenditure from the Art Council which shows that overall spending on Arts and the creative industries has continued to grow.

“We must acknowledge, however, that outside Belfast and Derry there has been a slight dip in average arts expenditure across the North. It’s important that councils recognise the importance of the arts, not just as an entertainment product or civic service but as a fiscal generator. Big events like Derry City of Culture prove the point - generating jobs, creating revenue and stimulating growth.

“We should also recognise the hard work that many councils have undertaken to increase their percentage spend on arts over the last year, particularly Newry and Mourne District Council and Downe Council . I’m confident that we will gain more dividends in the long term with further investment by the new super Council.”

See the full Report at www.artscouncil-ni.org

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