Wednesday, 6 November 2019
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Capital Expenditure Programme
58. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the details of each State infrastructure project that is in development or is due for completion in 2019 in which it is in excess of the budget assigned to the project for its current stage to date. [39522/19]
My Department has been allocated nearly €1.2 billion in capital expenditure over the course of the National Development Plan, 2018-2027, as part of Project Ireland 2040. To direct this investment, my Department has developed a detailed sectoral investment plan, Investing in our Culture, Language and Heritage, which sets the high-level, strategic capital priorities for the Department from 2018 to 2027. This plan involves three types of investment activity; capital investment and infrastructure programmes, capital grant schemes and major capital projects.
The plan provides for an allocation of:
- €725 million towards enhancing our cultural infrastructure, incorporating,
- A €460 million investment in our National Cultural Institutions and,
- €265 million for a national Culture and Creativity Investment Programme;
- €285 million towards a heritage investment programme; and,
- €178 million towards investment in our language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands.
Major capital projects under the National Cultural Institutions programme of the plan are appraised, planned, implemented and evaluated in line with the Public Spending Code and best practice guidance outlined in the Capital Works Management Framework published by the Office of Government Procurement.
While the majority of these capital projects are moving through the appraisal stage, we are currently providing support for two major capital projects: a four-year redevelopment of the National Library of Ireland involving the upgrading of the East and West Wings of the Library, and the provision of secure environmentally-controlled archival repository at the National Archives. The projects are being carried out by the Office of Public Works in partnership with the National Library of Ireland and the National Archives.
The first phase of the National Library of Ireland redevelopment project, comprising the development of a new book repository in the East Wing of the Library comprising 4,700 linear metres of storage and the movement of 350,000 volumes, was completed in June. The final outturn for phase 1 of the National Library of Ireland project is currently being prepared.
Enabling works to prepare for the construction work at the National Archives were completed in June. It is intended to undertake the tender for the National Archives Repository Redevelopment in the coming months.
My Department is also progressing a range of other initiatives under the other two strands of investment activity (grant schemes and investment programmes) which are delivering improved cultural, heritage and linguistic infrastructure and investment to communities across Ireland. These other initiatives currently underway include the investment in new trails and way paths across our network of National Parks and Nature Reserves, delivery of local arts and cultural facility enhancements under the Arts and Culture Capital Scheme, and the upgrading of community and childcare facilities in Gaeltacht areas. Partnership and collaboration are core principles underpinning these and other initiatives under the programme, and the Department is currently working with the Heritage Council, Waterways Ireland, Screen Ireland, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Fáilte Ireland and local authorities to deliver on its investment programme.‘