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Arts Funding.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 22 April 2009

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Questions (457, 458)

Finian McGrath

Question:

512 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the status of the grant in relation to funding that was announced on 2 May 2008 amounting to the sum of €10 million for 13 major arts and culture projects in 12 counties under the final round of investments under ACCESS II funding, and in particular in relation to funding awarded to Athlone Town Council, County Westmeath of €650,000; and the steps that have been taken by Athlone Town Council to progress the initiative since accepting the grant in May 2008. [15347/09]

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Finian McGrath

Question:

513 Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism if funding was allocated to a specific location in Athlone under ACCESS II funding which Athlone Town Council were awarded on 2 May 2008 to the sum of €650,000 in order to develop a dedicated contemporary gallery and artists studio in Athlone town; and his views on whether this funding has been awarded in order to develop a dedicated contemporary gallery and artists studio and such funding is not conditional to a specific location in Athlone town. [15348/09]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 512 and 513 together.

In April 2007, some €32.4 million was allocated to 67 projects under the ACCESS II arts and culture capital enhancement support scheme. In May 2008, the Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism allocated funding of a further €10.2 million to 13 additional projects which had been placed on the reserve list for funding by the independent selection committee. Athlone Town Council was one of the 13 additional projects and was allocated €650,000 towards the development of a two part scheme — artists' studios and a dedicated contemporary gallery in Athlone. As set out in the application form under the ACCESS scheme, the gallery is planned to be located in Fr. Matthew Hall, situated in Athlone on the west bank of the River Shannon. The studios will be located in St. Mary's Hall on Abbey Road on the east side of the bridge in Athlone. The two premises are a five-minute walk apart. To date, no application has been received by the Department to change the location of either part of the project. At the present juncture, my Department is awaiting detailed plans and drawings of the project from the promoter, Athlone Town Council.

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