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Increase in funds a boost to local community groups

By Staff Reporter

SOUTH Belfast MLA Alex Maskey has said local community groups should take advantage of the Laganside Events Grant Scheme now that the money available to applicants has been increased.

The Sinn Féin assemblyman, who chairs the Department of Social Development Committee at Stormont, said a previous funding cap of just £300 for the scheme made the application process “unappealing” for some community groups. The pot is available for groups including arts organisers.  South Belfast benefactors include the Belfast Festival at Queen’s, Cinemagic and the Chinese Welfare Association.

“The extension of the amount of money available to small groups under the reinstated Laganside Events Grant Scheme is to rise from £300 to £1000,” Mr Maskey explained.

“Despite this not seeming like a huge amount of money, for small community and arts groups this will no doubt make a significant difference. Previously the tiny amount of £300 excluded many groups applying to this fund by proxy as the time and effort that it would take to apply for such a small amount made it unappealing.

“However with this increase in funding I would expect many more groups to take up the opportunity to apply and play a vibrant role in the artistic life of this city especially in these harder economic times.

“It is a welcome development as it is within this sector that some of the most imaginative and colourful ideas emanate from alongside the fact that these groups are working right within our communities.”


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