James Nesbitt has argued that theatres and venues are the “cultural heartbeats” of towns and cities and has appealed for Stormont not to cut the sector’s funding.
The Coleraine actor spoke out following the announcement that £10m would have to be shaved from the Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure’s budget next year.
Nesbitt, who has been involved with a number of theatre groups in Northern Ireland, believes the institutions are vital for those pursuing a future in the sector.
He said that as a fledgling actor, he worked with the likes of Game of Thrones’ Michelle Fairley and Conlith Hill, Broadway star Lloyd Hutchinson as well as Beautiful South singer Briana Corrigan.
“They’ve all benefited from the Ulster Youth Theatre, therefore from arts subsidy, they’ve all gone on to forge careers,” he commented.
“Theatres and art centres, these are cultural heartbeats to towns and cities, and without them we’re much poorer for it.”
“I would appeal to Stormont not to cut anymore,” he concluded.
“Without the funding for the arts we’re just left with politics and we don’t want that.”