Northern Ireland

Bands to get £200,000 in Stormont funding for instruments

A bandsman plays a flute during a parade Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption A total of £200,000 will be made available, mostly to marching bands, in 2016-17

Communities Minister Paul Givan has revived a scheme to pay for musical instruments for bands.

£200,000 will be made available, mostly to marching bands, in 2016-17.

DUP colleagues of Mr Givan objected when the scheme was suspended by the Sinn Féin Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín in 2015.

The programme provides grants of between £500 and £5,000 distributed through the Arts Council.

Mr Givan said the marching bands sector was "the largest community arts sector in Northern Ireland with well in excess of 20,000 participants".

"These bands contribute to our society not just musically, but providing structure, discipline and a social outlet for a huge number of young people across Northern Ireland," he said.