Reports just in from Belfast say that public and private backers are working on ‘a new business model’ to save Northern Ireland’s only orchestra. No details are yet available but we’re hearing that whatever ensemble emerges from the smoke-free room will be a lot slimmer than before.
The orch is carrying a half-million pound debt and has burned up its reserves. An annual general meeting, which might have called for a wind-up order, was suspended to allow talks on a new model to advance. A statement from the orch board said: ‘The board’s representatives are still engaged in discussions with senior officials from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure and the Arts Council to consider a sustainable operating model for the future and have made progress. ‘These discussions are continuing, therefore a decision was taken by the board to adjourn the AGM to allow these negotiations to come to a satisfactory conclusion and to enable the directors to make an informed decision on the accounts.’