Thursday 22 February 2007

Belfast Festival at Queens saved

The Stage reports that the international arts festival, Belfast Festival at Queen's, has been saved from closure by a "one-off" grant of £150,000 by the arts minister, Maria Eagle.

In November, principal sponsors and hosts, Queen's University, had threatened to withdraw its backing after successive years of declining support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Last month it launched a high-profile petition to save the festival. While welcoming the new money, half of what organisers had been hoping for, a festival spokesperson told The Stage: "We regret that it took a crisis to secure additional investment, the case for which is compelling. We hope that our other funding partners in the public and private sectors will now respond by increasing their financial support and investing in the festival’s long-term future".

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