The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is a non-departmental public body (NDPB) of the Department for Communities (DFC). We distribute public money and National Lottery funds to develop artists and arts organisations, delivering a wide variety of arts projects, events and initiatives across Northern Ireland.

The Arts Council is funded via grant-in-aid by the Department for Communities and is managed by a Board. Members are appointed by the Minister for Communities.

The Board consists of the Chairman, Mr Liam Hannaway, plus 10 members and meets on a regular basis. The Board members, including Vice-Chair, Mr William Leathem, provide a broad cross-section of expertise and include representatives from the arts and culture sector.

Liam Hannaway Chair

Roisin McDonough Chief Executive

Why the Arts Council is supporting Boardroom Apprentice

The Arts Council recognise the importance of diversity across our sector and are making progress in implementing policies and programmes to support diversity across the arts and creative industries. Our 2020-21 annual funding survey of our core portfolio notes that while gender is well balanced across Board composition, only has 2% of members define themselves as non-white, 7% LGBTQ+ , 10% aged 34 and under, 10% with disabilities. We want to take the lead and look at our own Board composition and enhance diversity and believe the Boardroom apprentice is a great opportunity to a) give someone the opportunity to learn from a dynamic, fast-paced organisation and b) we learn from fresh thinking and from different perspectives. We have a minority ethnic (ME) deliberative forum comprised of artists and organisations representing artists from non-white, migrant backgrounds in NI and this has been discussed as a small step in tackling huge barriers in our sector for ME communities.

Location of Board and Committee Meetings

Currently blended, online and in the Boardroom, Linen Hill House, 23 Linenhall Street, Lisburn BT28 1FJ

Frequency and timing of board/committee meetings

Board meetings approx. every 6 weeks 3.00-6.00pm 

Committee meetings are held quarterly. Meetings take place during the day Audit Committee 10.00-11.30am; Finance Committee 2.00-3.30pm; Grants Committee ad-hoc on demand during the day. 

Date of Board Meetings (September 2022 – August 2023)

Sep 22-Mar 23 (dates from Apr-Aug 23 to be confirmed)







NB, the 19 & 20 October is a 2 day residential, venue provisionally booked Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Co Monaghan

Committee of the Boards and meeting dates (September 2022 – August 2023)

Sep 22-Mar 23 (dates from Apr-Aug 23 to be confirmed)

Audit & Risk Committee  10.00-11.30am 




Finance & Capital Committee 2.00-3.30pm