The Forum for Local Government and the Arts (FLGA), which is chaired by Fermanagh woman Noelle McAlinden, held its successful summer plenary event recently at the iconic MAC at St Anne's Square, Belfast.

Among those also attending were Fermanagh District Councillor John O'Kane and Council Arts Manager Diane Henshaw. The FLGA supports all forms of cultural practice across Northern Ireland and continues to play an instrumental role in raising awareness of the value of the arts and developing arts provision at local, community and regional level by building partnerships between local councillors, Arts managers and Arts activists.

The FLGA membership spans the whole of the province and it continues to support the promotion and enjoyment of Cultural activity throughout the whole of Northern Ireland.

The FLGA Plenary event was significant in informing FLGA members of ongoing developments and to highlight the priorities for the year ahead. The Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Car�l N� Chuilin expressed her delight as guest speaker to address the FLGA membership, together with colleagues from NILGA, Culture Company and Arts and Business.

DCAL Minister, Car�l Ni Chuil�n said: "The Arts and Creative Industries are important to us in so many ways. They have the ability to drive social and economic regeneration in our communities and contribute to our health and wellbeing. I was delighted to attend the plenary to support the work of the Forum for Local Government and the Arts. I am keen to see central and local government continuing to work in partnership with common goals for the arts and our creative industries."

Noelle McAlinden, Chair of The Forum for Local Government and The Arts, acknowledged that this is an exciting time for the sector, 2013 will bring with it challenges and opportunities as Northern Ireland continues to build on its international reputation, elevating Northern Ireland's image on the international stage. "However, future investment and increased funding needs to be sustainable, with increased opportunities to support the sector. Partnership is pivotal in securing a positive and creative future, enriching the lives of everyone, bringing communities together, harnessing creative and intellectual skills," she said.