Belfast's Grand Opera House (above) is one of 16 groups earning multi-annual funding from the City Council. © enjoybelfast.org.uk
Belfast City Council will provide funding to almost 100 arts groups in a £1 million investment in cultural projects across the Northern Irish capital.
Sixteen "flagship" groups, including the Belfast Festival at Queen's and the Lyric Theatre, will share £700,000 across three years.
A further 39 smaller organisations will receive the remaining £300,000 in support for the next year, from the Belfast Film Festival and the Tinderbox Theatre Company to the Belfast Print Workshop and the Festival of Fools.
"Last year our investment meant that more than six million people were able to enjoy and participate in a huge array of artistic events and activity," said Development Committee Chair William Humphrey, who claimed government funding had helped maintain more than 1,700 jobs in 2009.
"Belfast's arts organisations deliver so much for the city – on an individual level they increase confidence and widen our understanding of the world, but they also improve our quality of life, attract ever growing numbers of visitors and make a significant contribution to our economy."