Written answers

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Budget 2020

Photo of Niamh SmythNiamh Smyth (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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36. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the way in which budget 2020 will improve income streams for those working in the arts; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45505/19]

Photo of Josepha MadiganJosepha Madigan (Dublin Rathdown, Fine Gael)
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In 2020, total funding for the arts and culture sector will increase by over 2 per cent from €189m to just under €193m composed of €153m in current expenditure and €39.7m in capital.

Primary support for the arts in Ireland is delivered by the Arts Council. Funding for the Arts Council has been increasing steadily in recent years and it will reach €80 million in 2020. This is an increase €5m or 6.7% over 2019. The Arts Council, which is independent in its funding decisions under the Arts Act 2003, operates within a published 10 year strategic framework entitled Making Great Art Work. This strategy prioritises support for artists throughout their careers, by the involvement of many agencies in cultural provision, by the impact of the arts on the creative economy, and by the depth and breadth of people's engagement with the arts. The additional funding will allow the Arts Council to enhance its support for all artists, arts festivals, street arts and family events.

In addition, over €7m will be available from my Department next year to support the European City of Culture, Galway 2020. This is a significant sum to support artistic and creative activities in 2020.

The remit of Culture Ireland, a division of my Department, is to promote and advance Irish arts worldwide thus strengthening Ireland’s cultural profile and global reputation. Strategic priorities include providing support for the international presentation of Irish artists and arts organisations, developing new and diverse international audiences and markets for Irish arts, and linking culture into the Government’s international promotion strategy in tandem with other relevant Government Agencies. Critically, the work of Culture Ireland is focused on increasing career opportunities for Irish artists.

This Budget has been framed in the context of Brexit and additional funding for our arts and culture, at a time of prudent budgetary management reflects the Government’s continued commitment to supporting Irish arts and artists. The Per Cent for Arts Scheme and the extension of the Social Welfare Scheme for Self Employed Artists in conjunction with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection announced earlier is further proof of our commitment.

My Department and I will continue to work with all of my Government colleagues towards delivering on the commitment to increase Government spending in the arts and culture sector on a trajectory that will see funding doubled by 2025. I am already delivering additional supports to the arts and culture sector, building on the €1.2 billion earmarked for culture, heritage and the Irish language under Project Ireland 2040, thus leading to increased activity and employment across all sectors under the remit of my Department.


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