Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Questions (678, 680)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

678. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to reverse cuts in local heritage plan funding used to implement local heritage plans; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5201/19]

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Catherine Murphy

Question:

680. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to provide the Heritage Council with additional funding in order to fulfil its role in providing a community grant scheme in 2019 and 2020; if a similar funding stream can be provided; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5239/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 678 and 680 together.

The Heritage Council, which is funded by my Department, is independent in the performance of its functions. It is primarily a matter for the Heritage Council itself to decide how its funding is allocated across the range of research, education and conservation programmes it supports, including its Community Grants Scheme and funding for local heritage plans.

I was pleased to announce increased funding of €6.588m for the Council 2019, compared to €6.377 in 2018.

The voted funding allocation to the Heritage Council each year is published in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s Revised Estimates Volume . The amounts since 2015 are as follows:

Year

Total (€m)

2015

4,743

2016

5,243

2017

6,254

2018

6,377

2019

6,588

The Heritage Council is at an exciting and defining moment in 2019 with the launch of its new Strategic Plan “Heritage at the Heart ” 2018-2022 and the appointment of its new CEO, Virginia Teehan, from 1 February. I understand that final decisions on funding in 2019 across the Council’s various activities will be made by the new CEO and the Council in the coming weeks and announcements will be made by the Heritage Council in due course.