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Coronavirus / COVID-19 Update:

Please see the news page for our full Coronavirus / COVID-19 Update. Following advice ISLAND Arts Centre is temporarily pausing venue-based activities until further notice - we will continue to monitor the evolving situation to determine when we will re-open. We will update this message, via the News page of our website, and our social media channels.  Read more



Following a special meeting of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council on 18 March 2020, it was decided, with cross-party support that the council will close its facilities to the public, with immediate effect.

ISLAND Arts Centre is now closed.

All workshops, exhibitions, events and performances will cease from Thursday 19 March 2020, for the foreseeable future.

Given we are all part of an evolving situation with new guidance being issued on a daily basis, the council has made this decision for the health and wellbeing of all of its audiences, community and voluntary groups, artists, performers and staff to play its part in stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

All council Arts Service Funding Schemes including the Community Festivals Fund, Arts Grants (Individual and Organisations) MAC (Making Art In Communities), Tyrone Guthrie Bursary and The John Hewitt International Summer Scheme Award are now frozen until further notice. This is in direct response to the government’s guidelines in relation to large gatherings and social distancing to ensure the utmost safety and wellbeing of all communities within the Lisburn and Castlereagh area.

Any updates to this status will be sent to you through this forum and our social media. We would therefore be very grateful if you would please make sure your account details are up to date, so that we can properly communicate with you.

In the meantime, stay safe, look after yourself and one another.

Your ISLAND Arts Service Team

For further information and advice, please contact: 
Lesley Wilson
Community Arts Officer
T: 028 92 447512 

Arts Funding Opportunities

£7.75m programme to support arts and cultural organisations

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland will deliver, on behalf of the Department for Communities, a £7.75m programme of support, aimed at helping arts and cultural sector recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Through the Stability and Renewal Programme for Organisations, grants of up to £500,000 will be available to organisations working in the arts and cultural sector to help them respond to the immediate impacts of the Covid-19 crisis, including help with re-opening, adapting and stabilising their organisations in the long-term

The Stability and Renewal Programme is part of the £29 million Executive allocation that was made to DfC to support the arts, culture, heritage and language sectors which have been severely impacted by Covid-19. This is the latest package of support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland on behalf of the Department for Communities which has included £1.9m for the Organisations Emergency Programme, and £3.8m under the Individuals Emergency Resilience Programme.

The Stability and Renewal Programme for Organisations is open to arts, culture and community organisations whose primary role is to create, present or support one (or more) of these categories:




Music and Opera

Traditional Arts

Visual Arts

Performing arts and theatre

Festivals and cultural events

Participatory Arts


Cross Art form

Community Arts

Creative Industries in the following segments:

Independent Cinema

Product Design, Fashion Design, and Graphic Design;


TV, Video, Photography, Film, and Radio;

The Stability and Renewal Programme for Organisations opened at 2pm on 28th October for online applications and will close on Friday 27 November 2020 at 12noon.  Further details, including Guidance Notes and FAQs, are available here.

After applications close at midday on Friday 27 November, decisions on awards will be made by 29 January 2021.

Making Art in the Communities Grants Scheme (MAC)

Making Art in Communities Funding Programme (MAC) is to support constituted community groups/organisations based in the Council area to participate in, develop to promote the Arts.

MAC will provide funding in a range of artistic categories to raise community awareness about issues, including health promotion, environment and sustainability, urban renewal, rural revitalisation, cultural planning, community strengthening, social inclusion and cultural diversity.

Up to £1500 is available for any one organisation in each financial year.

Applications are now closed.

LCCC Arts Grant Scheme

Applications for arts grants to assist arts events, projects or related activities up to £3000 are welcomed from individual artists, (domicilled in or have their base in) and constituted arts organisations, (where project location and beneficiaries are within) the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area.
All activities must not be for profit therefore commercial organisations may not apply. Grant-aid applications will not be considered retrospectively, nor will any group / society be assisted with day to day running costs.

Applications are now closed.

Community Festivals Fund 2020/21

This grant scheme aims to assist constituted groups working within the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area to organise their own locally-based festivals.

The Community Festivals Fund is jointly funded by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council and the Department for Communities (DfC) to recognise the role that festivals can play in increasing social cohesion, economic regeneration and strengthening community relations…

Applications are currently postponed.

Professional Development for Artists:

The John Hewitt International Summer School Residency Award

This award enables a local writer to spend a week at the popular Summer School in Armagh enjoying a varied programme of talks, readings and workshops led by a host of internally renowned writers and speakers (food and accommodation are included).

Applications are currently postponed.

The Tyrone Guthrie Centre Bursary

This bursary allows a successful Artist to spend two all-inclusive weeks at the prestigious Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, Co Monaghan. This idyllic artists’ retreat play host to artists from around the world working in a variety of art forms.

Applications are currently postponed.

Young Artist of the Year Award 2020

LCCC invites applications from young people aged 16 - 25 years for a financial award of up to £1000 to support arts projects, residencies or approved study, over and above full time second or third level education. All art forms are eligible for the award. 

It may also cover the purchase of specialised equipment/materials or to cover travel and attendance at arts events outside of Northern Ireland.

Applications are now closed.