My Department has been allocated nearly €1.2 billion in capital expenditure over the course of the National Development Plan, 2018-2027, as part of Project Ireland 2040. My Department has developed a detailed sectoral investment plan, Investing in our Culture, Language and Heritage, which sets the high-level, strategic capital priorities for the Department from 2018 to 2027. The plan will deliver on this investment through the following activity strands; capital investment and infrastructure programmes, capital grant schemes and major capital projects.
The plan provides for an allocation of:
- €725 million towards enhancing our cultural infrastructure, incorporating,
- A €460 million investment in our National Cultural Institutions and,
- €265 million for a national Culture and Creativity Investment Programme;
- €285 million towards a heritage investment programme; and,
- €178 million towards investment in our language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands.
My Department manages its annual capital expenditure in the context both these programmatic allocations and the 5-year multi-annual Departmental capital allocations outlined in Project Ireland 2040 - National Development Plan. Investment programmes and capital grant schemes progress on a multi-annual basis, while major capital projects are being undertaken as part of the National Cultural Institutions Investment Programme.
As the Deputy will be aware, the Further Revised Estimates for 2019 provides for a capital allocation for my Department of €73.8 million. This reflects a deferral of €2 million of capital expenditure from 2019 into 2020 through changes to the timing of payments relating to certain capital investment programmes operated by my Department. I am confident that the flow of liabilities maturing in 2019 will be managed in line with the resources available and that this deferral of expenditure will not impact on the overall delivery of the Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht elements of Project Ireland 2040.
No capital projects have been delayed to date and we continue to manage the flow of capital projects through the phases set out in the Public Spending Code. At present, two of our major capital projects have passed the detailed appraisal stage: a four-year redevelopment of the National Library of Ireland involving the upgrading of the East and West Wings of the Library, and the provision of a secure environmentally-controlled archival repository at the National Archives. The first phase of the National Library project, comprising 4,700 linear metres of storage and the movement of 350,000 volumes, was unveiled last month. Detailed plans have been prepared for the National Archives Repository Redevelopment and it is expected that this project will go to tender later this year.