Tuesday, 29 November 2016
Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
441. To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to increase the amount of capital funding available for arts institutions and projects in view of the challenges facing organisations in maintaining and expanding operations. [37086/16]
Direct funding from my Department for arts primarily relates to capital funding for individual projects, as well as the promotion of Irish arts and culture abroad through Culture Ireland. A small number of summer schools and similar events receive funding from my Department. Details of these are on my Department’s website atwww.ahg.gov.ie.
Budget 2016 included over €48 million for the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, including almost €31 million for major capital works, additional funding for an inclusive and wide-ranging national and international commemorative programme, including State events, local community initiatives, a wide range of arts and cultural projects, and €3 million earmarked for Culture Ireland’s international programme for 2016 and the Abbey Theatre. Investing in our cultural infrastructure is hugely important; arts and cultural centres not only enrich local communities, they also help to drive economic growth.
With regard to Budget 2017 , the approved allocations will include:
- an additional €5 million for the Arts Council, an 8% increase in its annual budget;
- increased funding for all of the National Cultural Institutions;
- an increase of €2 million for the Irish Film Board and €1 million for Culture Ireland;
- an additional €1 million to the Heritage Council; and
- funding of €5m for the implementation of a Culture 2025/Ireland 2016 Legacy Programme, which will allow me to build on the positive legacy of the Ireland 2016 commemorations. I will be announcing details of this new initiative shortly.
All of this represents real and substantial funding increases across the arts and cultural area and has been welcomed across the sector. It also re-affirms the commitment of this Government to progressively increase funding for the arts as the economy improves, as set out in the Programme for a Partnership Government.
I have also launched a new €9m investment scheme for arts and cultural centres to run over the next three years, focussed on securing and enhancing our arts and culture infrastructure. The scheme will target investment at a range of different facilities, including arts centres, theatres, galleries and museums, as well as artists’ studios and creative spaces. The closing date for receipt of applications was in September and applications received are now undergoing evaluation. Awards will be announced in the near future. I will also be announcing shortly a subset of the scheme with grants of up to €20,000 for community or voluntary organisations. The details of this funding stream are being finalised and will open for applications in the near future.