Funding of £200k announced for instruments for bands

The Minister for Communities, Paul Givan, has announced a £200k fund for instruments for bands across Northern Ireland.

The funding will be available for 2016/17.

The Musical Instruments for Bands Programme, which will be distributed through the Arts Council, is designed to make funding available for the purchase of musical instruments.

The fund had generally been used in the past by marching bands and provides grants from £500 to £5k for the purchase of instruments to bands based in Northern Ireland which are formally constituted and who have not received a grant from the fund in the previous five years.

“The marching bands sector is the largest community arts sector in Northern Ireland with well in excess of 20,000 participants,” said Mr Givan.

“Our parading culture has been described as ‘Northern Ireland’s best kept secret’ and the reinstatement of this funding for the purchase of musical instruments will be welcome news for those who participate in this important sector.

“They are an integral part of life in Northern Ireland and I will continue to work to ensure that adequate resources are available for this sector.”

Communities Minister Paul Givan

“These bands contribute to our society not just musically, but providing structure, discipline and a social outlet for a huge number of young people across Northern Ireland.

The programme has provided £200k per year since 2011 to the Arts Council.