Questions Nos. 348 to 350, inclusive, answered with Question No. 338.

Question No. 351 answered with Question No. 335.

Regional Development Policy

Question No. 354 answered with Question No. 338.

Question No. 355 answered with Question No. 336.

Questions (352, 353)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

352. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will expand on his plans for regional and balanced development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4964/18]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

353. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the degree to which he expects to positively influence measures to encourage population movement throughout the country thereby reducing congestion in the bigger population counties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4965/18]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 352 and 353 together.

The National Planning Framework (NPF), titled Ireland 2040 - Our Plan, will set a new long-term strategic planning and investment context for Ireland over the next 20 years.  It will outline a high-level, national vision for Ireland for 2040 and will provide the framework and principles to manage future population and economic growth over the next 20 years (catering for 1 million extra people, 600,000 extra jobs and over 500,000 extra homes).

The forthcoming NPF will empower all areas to play their distinct roles in securing overall optimal national and regional development, and sets out a growth strategy to help achieve this.  In doing so, the NPF presents a long-term framework that sets out how Ireland can move away from the ‘business as usual’ pattern of development.

In setting out a context for targeting future growth, the Framework seeks to enable a co-ordinated and plan-led, rather than development-led, approach to development across Ireland. The NPF identifies the need for a strategic strengthening of Ireland’s overall urban structure, building on the recently published ESRI research paper, titled Prospects for Irish Regions and Counties: Scenarios and Implications. The paper is available on the ESRI's website at the following link: http://www.esri.ie/publications/prospects-for-irish-regions-and-counties-scenarios-and-implications/.

The finalisation of the NPF along with the 10-year Capital Investment Plan will be followed through by tasking our three Regional Assemblies to bring forward complementary Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies (RSESs), linking strategic national planning and investment with regional-scale physical planning and the local economic and community development functions of local authorities. 

Development of the regions will be further considered as part of the RSESs and at the local scale as part of the City and County Development Plan process and Local Economic and Community Plans, consistent with the general targeted pattern of development of the NPF.

Question No. 354 answered with Question No. 338.
Question No. 355 answered with Question No. 336.

Arts Funding

Questions (356)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

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.