Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Questions (356)

Peadar Tóibín


356. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the reason for the delay in the building of the Irish Arts Centre in New York; when construction will commence; the amount that was invested; if the project has sufficient funds to complete the building and have it opened; if there has been a request to the Government or her Department for further funds to help complete the project; the other organisations that have invested money into the project; and the amount invested. [4671/18]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

The Government is very supportive of the redevelopment of the Irish Arts Centre in New York. It will provide a sustainable and modern flagship venue aimed at promoting Irish culture in a key global city, engaging our large diaspora in America and in turn further deepening the strong bilateral relationship with the US, which are key strategic priorities for Ireland.

To-date, the Government has announced grant funding of €4.3 million from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

The Government’s support should be seen also in the context of the commitment to double our global footprint – culture is an important part of Ireland’s footprint in the world. In this context the 2 Departments have worked closely with the Irish Arts Centre in relation to completing the funding package for the centre and a further announcement will be made in this regard in the coming weeks.

The funding provided by Government should also be seen in the context of the funding committed by the City of New York for the project (more than $35 million), by the State of New York (some $6 million) and by private donors.

My Department is coordinating the Government support for the project with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Both Departments are kept closely informed on developments and progress through the Consulate General in New York, and in this regard it is understood that ground-breaking on the now vacated 11th Avenue site will begin in the second quarter of 2018, subject to completion to final regulatory approvals. This is a development project involving multiple public, private and community stakeholders, funding sources, regulatory bodies, and participants and the Irish Arts Centre schedules are best estimates and subject to revision.

The importance and future potential of having a state of the art flagship cultural institution in a key global city like New York should not be underestimated. The Government looks forward to the completion of the New Irish Arts Centre and to deepening of our relationship with this important cultural institution into the future.