Wednesday 29 August 2018


The British Council and Belfast City Council today jointly announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to increase Belfast City’s international ambition and growing international reputation - focusing on arts, education and civic society work.

This agreement, signed by Belfast City Council CEO Suzanne Wylie and British Council Northern Ireland Director, Jonathan Stewart, will allow the parties to explore partnership and collaboration opportunities over the next five years – including a focus on Northern Ireland music and musicians.

The signing of the MoU follows Belfast’s successful appointment as a Resilient City – joining 100 cities throughout the world in an initiative pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation in the USA - linking Belfast to the Colombian Resilient Cities of Cali and Medellín.

Speaking about the Collaboration, Belfast City Council’s Chief Executive, Suzanne Wylie, said: “Belfast City Council is delighted to sign this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the British Council. It marks another step forward in our aims for the Belfast Agenda – our long-term development plan for the city.

“The Belfast Agenda aims to increase working in partnership with organisations such as the British Council and ensure that together we make best use of our resources to improve life for all working, living or visiting Belfast. Today’s MoU will help us deliver an integrated cultural and arts strategy for Belfast, increasing access to arts and heritage and helping to strengthen this important sector.”

The announcement also comes as the British Council develop a Global Cities Strategy – aiming to work with cities across the UK  to develop, extend and deepen existing international connections with key global cities.

Commenting on the new MoU, Jonathan Stewart, Director, British Council Northern Ireland said: “We are very excited for this new partnership with Belfast City Council.  Our new global strategy aims to focus on cities, connecting and bringing coherence to the work we already do with institutions and organisations working in this area – and this agreement with Belfast City Council can only strengthen these links further. 

“Our aim is to work in key UK urban centres to help them develop cultural relations strategies and activities which meet their priorities. In addition, we will coordinate our activities to inform a long-term approach for a global cities strategy and programme.”

The British Council is the UK’s leading cultural relations body. For more information on current opportunities in Northern Ireland, visit or follow on Twitter: @BCouncil_NI.

Notes to Editor

For further information please contact: 

Claire McAuley, Communications Manager: T +44 (0) 28 9019 2224 | M +44 (0) 7856524504 Twitter: @BCouncil_NI, Facebook – 

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.  For more information, please visit: