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Culture

Belfast is a city with a rich heritage, offering a host of vibrant cultural and artistic experiences. We recognise that culture makes a very valuable contribution to the life of our city and are working hard to place culture and arts firmly on the urban regeneration agenda for Belfast.  

This short video gives a flavour for the city’s cultural scene.

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Cultural Framework for Belfast – action plan 2016-2020

Cultural life makes an important contribution to the economy, offering employment opportunities and developing valuable skills. It also encourages the ever growing numbers of tourists to visit Belfast. 

Following extensive input from the cultural sector and partners, we have a new action plan for the period 2016-2020 to support our original Cultural Framework for Belfast (PDF - 2.05MB) which was developed in 2012. 

We are in the process of developing options for a new approach to long-term cultural development in the city. 

Vision

Our vision is that by 2020, everyone in Belfast experiences and is inspired by our city’s diverse and distinctive culture and arts. Arts and heritage are valued for enriching quality of life and creating wealth, and the city’s culture and creativity is renowned throughout the world.

This vision supports the Belfast Agenda by contributing to key actions to improve the city living experience and attract tourists to Belfast, helping to achieve:

  • happy and healthy people and communities.
  • more jobs and a strong economy.

Themes

The Cultural Framework has four key themes:
  • Distinctly Belfast: a thriving and vibrant city is a diverse city that celebrates its uniqueness and takes pride in its difference.
  • Inspiring Communities: it’s vital that everyone in the city can have access to high quality cultural services and can participate in arts and heritage activities. This improves quality of life and builds confidence at an individual, community and whole-city level.
  • Attracting Audiences: one of the most critical challenges for the cultural sector continues to be the capacity to engage with, retain and develop audiences locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Strengthening the Sector: this is about skills development and providing opportunities to diversify income streams, including connecting the arts and heritage sectors to tourism and the creative industries, as well as introducing new business models and investment opportunities.

Cultural funding

We provide core funding and a range of small grants for cultural, arts and heritage organisations in order to support the vision of the Cultural Framework for Belfast.

New Cultural Strategy for Belfast 2020 - 2030 

We are in the process of developing options for a new approach to long-term cultural development in the city. We value your voice, and seek contribution from all sectors (art, tourism, business, heritage, sport, hospitality, creative industries and more) to collectively develop an authentic narrative for our city. Throughout this process we hope to engage with you in a number of ways and we hope that you will be able to contribute in whatever way suits you best.

To begin this process we are running a series of conversations to help form our new cultural strategy for this city and we want you to join us.

Culture Forum 2019

The Culture Forum is an annual gathering for the cultural and creative sectors, alongside key stakeholders and partners in the city. This year we will be taking the opportunity to present and explore the themes that have been gathered during the Your City, Your Say process and have fed into the draft ‘Cultural Statement’ for the city. Everyone is welcome to attend this forum (whether you participated in Your City, Your Say or not) as we want a wide range of voices represented at this event. 

State of the sector survey

For a number of years Belfast City Council has been asking the sector to complete an online survey to help give us a better understanding of the capacity and challenges that face you. Up to date information is critical to help inform key priorities in the new cultural strategy. If you represent an organisation in the sector we would appreciate you taking the time to complete this short survey.

Thanks very much for taking the time to be part of this, we very much look forward to seeing you soon.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. To keep up to date with all engagement activity feeding into the new Cultural Strategy please visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/yourcityyoursay

More information

For more information, please call us on 028 9027 0426 or email us at culture@belfastcity.gov.uk.


Contact us
Tourism, culture and arts
028 9027 0426
Place and Economy Department
4th floor, 9 Adelaide
9-21 Adelaide Street
Belfast
BT2 8DJ