Written answers

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Budget 2020

Photo of Martin HeydonMartin Heydon (Kildare South, Fine Gael)
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32. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the additional funding available for the Heritage Council under budget 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45569/19]

Photo of Josepha MadiganJosepha Madigan (Dublin Rathdown, Fine Gael)
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While the allocation for 2020 has not yet been published I can confirm that the Heritage Council will receive funding of over €6.5 million under Budget 2020. This is similar to the amount it received in 2019.

The voted funding allocation to the Heritage Council each year is published in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s Revised Estimates Volume. Funding for the Heritage Council has increased by almost 40% since 2015. The amounts published from 2015 to 2019 are as follows:

2015 - €4.743 million

2016 - €5.243 million

2017 - €6.254 million

2018 - €6.377 million

2019 - €6.588 million

The Heritage Council operates a range of programmes which impact positively on employment within the heritage and tourism sectors, on education and on promotion of heritage. The Heritage Council is independent in the performance of its functions and it is, therefore, primarily a matter for the Heritage Council itself to decide how its funding is allocated across the research, education and conservation programmes it supports. The Historic Towns Initiative (HTI), however, is a joint undertaking between my Department and the Heritage Council. It provides support to historic towns engaged in a programme of heritage-led regeneration. Earlier this year, along with the Heritage Council, I announced funding of €1 million, to be shared by six towns under the 2019 programme. This funding will be retained in 2020.

The Heritage Council is entering a new phase in its development with the appointment of a new CEO on the 1st of February. The new CEO will oversee the implementation of the Heritage Council’s Strategic Plan Heritage at the Heart2018-2022.

The Heritage Council’s budget must also be viewed in its wider context. My Department is currently in the process of drafting Heritage Ireland 2030, a new national heritage plan, which will identify and assign priorities for the funding designated under Project Ireland 2040 for investment in our built and natural heritage. Heritage Ireland 2030 will provide an overarching framework of values, principles and strategic priorities to guide, inform and resource the heritage sector at all levels over the next decade.


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