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McCausland welcomes cash injection for Stadium Development

Culture, Arts and Leisure Minister, Nelson McCausland has welcomed the publication of the Draft Budget 2011-2015 but acknowledged the challenges ahead.
Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Speaking today about the Executive Draft Budget, the Minister said: "I am committed to delivering reform across the remit of the Department to maximise on efficient and effective delivery by frontline services. Whilst there will be challenges, the four year Draft Budget has given us a sound basis for planning ahead. It is becoming increasingly recognised that the work of my Department is important to the people of Northern Ireland and to our economy, education and health.

“I am particularly pleased that the Executive has supported my bid for £110million to develop stadium provision for our three major sports. This is great news for Northern Ireland!”

The Minister also welcomed the expansion of the community sport programme managed by Sport Northern Ireland, where approximately £10million will be available during the budget period, and the new investment of £4million in the creative industries which will support Northern Ireland in competing and succeeding on the world stage.

Continuing, the Minister said: “Northern Ireland has seen unprecedented investment in the Arts capital infrastructure over recent years. I look forward to the completion and opening next year of the new headquarters for the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, the Metropolitan Arts Centre and the Lyric Theatre in Belfast. In addition, during a recent visit to Londonderry, I was greatly impressed by the refurbished Playhouse and Waterside theatres. Our Arts infrastructure has impacted positively on cultural tourism in Northern Ireland which I believe will continue to increase in the years ahead and has also contributed to Londonderry becoming City of Culture in 2013. I am also pleased to announce £4million for the Creative Industries which will play a key part in our economic recovery.

“Unfortunately, my capital allocation does not allow at this time for other projects which I would have wished to take forward. This reduced investment will impact on plans for the major sports facilities as part of the 2012 Legacy and for the early refurbishment of Belfast Central Library.”

In conclusion, the Minister said: “Sports and arts in Northern Ireland are expected to benefit from an increase in lottery funding over the next four years and this, together with the allocation we have received in the Draft Budget, will ensure that the people of Northern Ireland will continue to enjoy a good level of culture, arts and leisure provision given the difficult financial environment.”

Notes to editors:

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