The developers of the Northside Arts and Cultural Centre have applied for funding under the Cultural Development Incentives Scheme 1994-99 which is administered by my Department from the funds available to me under the Operational Programme for Tourism.
The Deputy will be aware that "The Arts Plan 1995-97" prepared by An Comhairle Ealaíon/the Arts Council obtained the broad support of all sides of the House when it was debated here on 6 April and 11 May. In reviewing the current arts infrastructure in the State, the Plan identifies priority zones and centres of excellence as the focus of particular attention.
The priority zones are the counties of Laois, Wicklow, Donegal, Longford, Westmeath, Offaly, Leitrim, Tipperary and Roscommon and the centres of excellence are the cities of Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford.
In order to be consistent with the objectives of "The Arts Plan 1995-97", I have decided to examine applications under the cultural development incentives scheme from the priority zones and centres of excellence initially. To date, no decisions have been made with regard to the individual projects to receive allocations under this scheme.
Officials of my Department are available to meet with representatives of this project or, indeed, any of the other projects for which an application for funding under this scheme has been lodged with my Department.