A-Z: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A City Imagining

Cultural Strategy 2020 - 2030

The Belfast Agenda, our city’s first community plan, sets a vision for 2035 that imagines a culturally vibrant city, and it has helped to establish a new approach to partnership working.

As part of this ambition and following thousands of one to one conversations with citizens all across the city, we’ve recently agreed a ten-year cultural strategy, A City Imagining, which will be implemented from April 2020.

A City Imagining is a consolidation of the foundation, commitments and achievements of several preceding strategies and frameworks. It recognises our city’s complex cultural challenges and commits the city to facilitating a new and exciting phase of culture-led transformation with the individual citizen at the heart of the process.

A City Imagining sets out four strategic themes:  A City Belonging, A City Challenging, A City Creating, and A City Exploring. These themes have been shaped by the engagement process that underpinned the development of the strategy.

There are a number of important strategic milestones in the ten years ahead.  2023 will be a year-long celebration of culture. It will include a programme of activity based on the concept of At home. We also hope that Belfast will be designated a UNESCO City of Music. We will be developing cultural tourism and preparing to open our new cultural attraction, the Belfast Destination Hub, which will share the “Belfast Story” with the world. A lateral approach to partnership working and placemaking will be at the heart of all efforts to achieve these milestones.

We recognise we are a work in progress and the people of Belfast have told us it is time for change. Belfast is A City Imagining.

More information on the Cultural Strategy

Download A City Imagining Belfast’s cultural strategy 2020-2030 (PDF - 15MB)

Download the cultural strategy public consultation report (PDF - 10MB)

Download the cultural strategy implementation plan 2020 – 2023 (PDF - 7MB)

Download the cultural strategy approach to investing in culture (PDF - 1MB)

Cultural Investment Model

Belfast’s new investment model for culture proposes a new partnership approach to funding with the aim of sustaining and developing accessible cultural activity and infrastructure across Belfast.

The aims of the cultural investment model are to:

  • Support the cultural life of the city by enabling citizens to be active, dynamic and creative agents of change
  • Invest in the cultural and creative sectors skills development and capacity for production and innovation
  • Position Belfast as an international testing ground for new approaches to cultural engagement, development and placemaking
  • Establish Belfast as a cultural destination.

Cultural multi-annual grants are the first phased element of the cultural investment model. There are two strands which are available for two or four years, to support:

  • Arts and heritage organisations (Anchor- 4yrs & Enable – 2yrs)
  • Festivals and events (Imagine – 4yrs & Activate – 2yrs)

Find out what grant you are eligible to apply to:

Download your guide to cultural multi annual grants (PDF - 3MB)

Download your guide to completing an application for arts & heritage multi-annual grants – Anchor or Enable (PDF - 369KB) 

Download your guide to completing an application for festivals and events grants - Imagine or Activate (PDF - 546)

Cultural multi annual grants open for application on 7 October 2019 and close for submission at noon on 22 November 2019.You can apply online here. You can come to one of our information sessions to find out more, please register via the links below. Or you may want to request an advice meeting with officers, if so contact us at or call 028 9050 0543.

Venue Date Time
Eastside Visitor Centre, Newtownards Road Monday 14 October 2019 1pm - 2.30pm Register your place
Spectrum Centre, Shankill Road
Tuesday 15 October 2019 9am - 10.30am Register your place
Olympia Leisure Centre, Boucher Road
Thursday 17 October 2019 2pm - 3.30pm Register your place
The Duncairn, Antrim Road
Friday 18 October 2019 9.30am - 11am Register your place

Contact us
028 9050 0543
Place and Economy Department
4th floor, 9 Adelaide
9-21 Adelaide Street