THE powerhouse behind some of the most successful South Belfast cultural events of recent years has scooped a major award for her contributions to the voluntary and community sectors.

Nisha Tandon of ArtsEkta, which runs the hugely successful Belfast Mela summer festival among other seasonal cultural events, has been given the ‘Leading on Growth and Innovation’ Award from voluntary sector body CO3, at a recent ceremony held in Belfast.

South Belfast-based Nisha was praised for helping develop a “rich programme of events” with ArtsEkta, including the recent Holi ‘Festival of Colour’ in the Kings Hall, and the Diwali and Samhain autumn celebration, mixing Indian and Irish cultures. Speaking after receiving the award, Nisha said: “This award is particularly relevant in light of the challenging times we face and never has it been more important for us to unite together and demonstrate strong and effective leadership. I would like to thank all those involved at CO3 for their continued efforts in promoting and developing the work of our diverse and exceptional third sector.”

CO3 Chief Executive Majella McCloskey added: “In spite of a tough climate, we’ve seen leaders deliver truly exceptional work and add tremendous value to their service users. Nisha’s award is a real signal of quality for the work that she and her organization have done in this sector.”