I propose to take Questions Nos. 601 and 609 together.
Last January, I announced a new €9 million investment scheme for arts and cultural centres to run over the next three years, focussed on upgrading the existing stock of arts and cultural centres around the country. The funding is being made available as part of the Capital Investment Framework 2016-2021.
The scheme will target investment at a range of different facilities and will be broken down into three streams as follows:
- The refurbishment and enhancement of existing purpose-built arts and cultural facilities, with maximum grants of €300,000. Eligible facilities would include arts centres, theatres, galleries, museums, artists’ studios and creative spaces (Stream 1).
- Significant improvements to a smaller number of key facilities. Ideally, projects seeking this stream of funding would have financial support from the relevant local authority. Grants of up to €2 million may be offered under this stream (Stream 2)
- Smaller grants of up to €20,000 for community or voluntary organisations operating in facilities, which have not been purpose- built (Stream 3).
It is my priority to target investment at existing facilities in order to enhance the current stock of arts centres around the country.
My Department is finalising the guidelines and application forms in relation to the scheme, which I intend to open for applications very shortly.