Page last updated at 14:37 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009

Music body folds over differences

The Answer
The Answer supported AC/DC on their world tour

A Northern Ireland music body which helped launch the careers of musicians such as The Answer and Duke Special is to be closed down.

The NI Music Industry Commission was set up in 2001 to showcase local talent and develop musicians' business skills.

However, it has announced that because of irreconcilable differences among board members its work is ending.

Invest NI said the body had entered a voluntary winding-up arrangement.

"Due to irreconcilable issues within NIMIC's board, Invest NI and other potential partners were unable to consider any further funding," it said.

"NIMIC has made a significant contribution to the development of the music industry in Northern Ireland since 2001 through the support provided by Invest NI and the Arts Council."

The commission showcased local artists at high-profile events such as the annual South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas.

Eamon Keyes, who sat on NIMIC's board for almost five years, said up-and-coming musicians in Northern Ireland would now find it even harder to make it in a very competitive industry.

"There are bands who are now on on their way to the top, artists like Duke Special and the Answer who are just back off a world tour with AC/DC, who all benefitted from NIMIC," he said.

"NIMIC was set up as a sectoral lead body and it didn't get its place. It should have been supported to a greater extent and it should have been funded more.

"We are in a backwater musically, NIMIC was able to give people information they needed to succeed without going across to London.

"The government has said they aren't going to give funding for another body, it is such a shame it got this far without something being done."

Richard Dale said NIMIC provided his band Escape Act with vital support when they formed just over three years ago.

"Although they had limited resources there were able to offer support and advice on a one-to-one basis, they will be sadly missed" he said.

"It is not good enough for Invest NI just to say NIMIC has disbanded they need to show some leadership."

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