Tuesday, 29 November 2016
Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
483. To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which, directly or through the statutory agencies under her control, applications for funding have been made by groups or bodies promoting the arts or involved in musical or dramatic productions in the past twelve months from County Kildare; if she has been or expects to be in a position to respond favourably to such requests; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37727/16]
487. To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which her Department continues to provide funding for the arts at local and community level, directly or indirectly; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37731/16]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 483 and 487 together.
Most of my Department's arts and culture budget is allocated to the agencies under its remit. Within these allocations, the Arts Council is the primary State agency for funding the arts. I secured significant additional funding for the Arts Council in Budget 2017 of €5 million, or 8%. Details of the Council's funding decisions can be found on its website at the following link www.artscouncil.ie/Who_we_funded/
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.
Budget 2016 included over €48 million for the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, including almost €31 million for ma jor capital works. There was also additional funding for an inclusive and wide-ranging national and international commemorative programme, including State events, local community initiatives, and a wide range of arts and cultural projects, as well as €3 million for Culture Ireland’s 2016 international programme 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.
I believe that it is important to continue the momentum to build on the positive legacy of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. My Department has, therefore, been developing a cross-Government initiative to mainstream culture and creativity in the life of the nation and to promote individual, community and national wellbeing. This will focus on boosting cultural provision and participation in communities, and harnessing the goodwill and engagement generated by the commemorative programme this year. It will also act as the main vehicle to take forward the priorities identified in Culture 2025. I have secured funding of €5m in Budget 2017 to underpin this new initiative and I intend to announce further details in the coming weeks.