I propose to take Questions Nos. 36 and 37 together.
The Government has committed €15 million towards the funding of Galway 2020 as European Capital of Culture. The terms and conditions for the provision of the funding are set out in a performance delivery agreement between my Department and Galway 2020. The agreement addresses the roles and responsibilities of the Department and Galway 2020 in the provision and expenditure of the grant, as well as the key deliverables and performance indicators attached to the drawdown of the grant, and the monitoring and reporting arrangements in place.
On 31 January last, my Department received the first management and auditors’ report under the performance delivery agreement from Galway 2020, in advance of a monitoring meeting with the company the following week.
The management report sets out the progress made by Galway 2020 in recent months, including the appointment of a new Chief Executive, the appointment of new board members, board and audit committee meetings held, the periodic reviews of risks undertaken, progress on the development of the cultural programme including the European dimension, community engagement, staffing, and the development of the partnership and monitoring and evaluation programmes.
The auditors’ report verified the payments reviewed and confirmed that Galway 2020 has followed best practice in transparency, accountability and securing value for money.
The reports were discussed further at the monitoring meeting between officials from my Department and Galway 2020, in addition to more recent developments, including the appointment of new Chair to the Board, Mr Arthur Lappin, as well as the appointment of cultural production company, Artichoke, to the role of cultural leadership for the project.
I am satisfied that Galway 2020 is progressing with the development of the delivery phase of the Capital of Culture programme and look forward to a successful and impactful year that will serve to further highlight the vibrant and diverse cultural offering in Galway and Ireland, more generally.