Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure

Arts, Creativity & Architecture

Photograph of audience in a theatre enjoying a performance

DCAL provides funding for the arts in Northern Ireland, sets arts policy and supports arts based initiatives.  The creative industries sector is an important sector of the economy and has the potential to generate very significant and long lasting economic benefits for Northern Ireland.

Our work in the arts includes:

  • Northern Ireland Screen CommissionOpens new window: Through NI Screen Commission we maximise the economic, cultural and educational value of the screen industries in Northern Ireland
  • Arts Council NIOpens new window: We fund Arts Council NI to develop the arts in Northern Ireland
  • Arts Council Strategy 2013-2018: The Strategy, entitled ‘Ambitions for the Arts’ aims to place the arts at the heart of social, economic and creative life in the north of Ireland.
  • Arts Infrastructure: We aim to enhance the quality of the infrastructure, increase participation in and improve access to the arts.

What are Creative Industries?

  • The sector ranges from television to crafts, advertising to architecture and music to fashion design. The common thread is that the activities they pursue have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent. Recent estimates indicate that some 36,000 people are employed in the creative industries in Northern Ireland.
  • We support the film and television sectors through the Northern Ireland Screen Commission,Opens new window which is responsible for the development of the film, television and related new media industries and audiovisual culture in Northern Ireland.

Who is responsible for Creative Industries in NI?

  • The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) is the Government lead on the creative industries. We have been working closely with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, the Department for Employment and Learning, Invest NI, the Arts Council, the local Universities, Sectoral Skills Councils and other bodies to map out how to support and develop the creative industries in Northern Ireland.

Creative Industries Innovation Fund:

  • The £5m fund was launched on 17 October 2008 to contribute to the growth of Northern Ireland's cultural capital by supporting creativity and creative talents in their business activities.  The fund is being administered by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Websites of interest

Creative Learning Centres

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