Arts Council bands funding welcomed

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ULSTER Unionist Party Assembly Member for Mid-Ulster, Sandra Overend, has welcomed the Arts Council Northern Ireland’s recently launched fund that will offer grants for bands to purchase new instruments.

Ms Overend said many bands need this financial help, as costs continue to spiral.

The Mid Ulster MLA continued: “This funding for bands could not come at a better time. We are at the mouth of marching season, when bands are returning to practice and parade, and it at this time when many may seek to renew uniforms and instruments.

“These items can be very expensive, and for bands, who mostly rely on funding and donations to survive, grants such as this are vital.

“The Arts Council are, in this instance, offering grants to bands so that they can buy new instruments.

“It is open to formally constituted accordion, brass, concert, flute, pipe and wind bands from Northern Ireland, and I would encourage all bands to apply for this funding. Grants of up to £5,000 are available.

“Forms can be found online, or can be collected from my office at 1 High Street Moneymore.

“Call in or phone us on 028 867 48090 to speak to someone about the grant, or for information on how to apply.

“I am happy to assist in any way I can to ensure that your band has the best possible chance of securing funding. The Arts Council opened the application process on Monday 8 April 2013, and the deadline for applications is Thursday 25 April at 5pm.”