Tuesday, 18 June 2019
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
Office of Public Works Properties
157. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the amount of funding directed to the conservation and management of buildings in the care of the OPW in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019, by year, amount, building name and location in tabular form; the levels of engagement he has had with State tourism bodies regarding same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25248/19]
It is inferred from the Deputy's Question that she is referring to the historic estate in State care, specifically National Monuments & Historic Properties, rather than the entire portfolio of all buildings managed by the OPW.
The Office of Public Works is responsible for the conservation, management and presentation of:
- approximately 1,000 National Monuments that are in State ownership or guardianship at 768 locations
- 32 other significant Historic Properties.
The conservation and presentation of these sites to the public involves a range of activities including major and minor conservation projects, ongoing maintenance of both buildings and grounds and works to facilitate or improve the presentation and interpretation of sites including Guide services, which are provided at 70 sites around the country, on either a full-time or seasonal basis.
As the National Monuments estate is funded as a single entity with a corresponding skilled workforce to cover major requirements in relation to conservation and other tasks, it is not possible to readily provide a breakdown of spending per site. The following table below reflects the overall amount spent on the National Monuments estate for the years in question.
|2017||2018||2019 (to date)|
OPW provides protection, maintenance, presentation and day-to-day management of a number of other historic State owned properties. A breakdown of spending by site of funding provided to all such properties for the years in question is given hereunder.In a certain number of cases, (eg: Phoenix Park) spending at smaller sites in the same vicinity are bundled within the larger properties which hold management and maintenance responsibility for them.
|Name of Site||2017||2018||2019 (to date)|
|Battle of the Boyne||€933,927||€727,884||€249,200|
|Blasket Visitor Centre||€197,820||€122,617||€54,330|
|Garden of Remembrance||€186,563||€164,584||€84,279|
|JFK Memorial Park||€771,600||€1,038,060||€359,229|
|St. Stephen's Green||€993,816||€1,124,338||€497,569|
|War Memorial Gardens||€290,023||€338,262||€137,180|
Understanding that many of these heritage sites are significant visitor attractions, OPW and the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht have for many years had a close working relationship with Fáilte Ireland, the national tourism development authority, in relation to the heritage estate in their care.
At a practical level, there has been strong longstanding cooperation evident in relation to many high profile sites such as Newgrange, Rock of Cashel and Dublin Castle where OPW directly engages with Fáilte Ireland programmes in support of Irish businesses working within the tourism economy, including participation in Industry events such as Meitheal.Additionally, Fáílte Ireland has also provided supports to OPW in relation to relevant areas such as Guide Training, Customer Service planning, Marketing and Tourism research and OPW participates in working groups in support of the major Fáilte brand areas Ireland's Ancient East, Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland's Hidden Heartllandsand Dublin, Surprising by Nature.
More formally, at a senior level, OPW, DCHG & Fáilte Ireland have also, since 2015, formed a Strategic Partnership to manage and direct the Government's Tourism Capital Development Programme 2016 - 2021 in respect of cultural and heritage sites within the portfolio.Under this Programme, the Partners have, working collaboratively in a Steering Group structure, developed a stream of capital funding proposals totalling an estimated €23.5m to date which are majority funded by Fáilte Ireland and which are designed to both renew existing visitor facilities and provide new infrastructure investment where it can reap most benefit.