I will take the committee through some of the key areas of the Creative Ireland programme's work. Cultural and creative education is one area where working together is so important and is having an impact. It is also potentially the most transformative part of Creative Ireland's work. Under pillar 1, known as creative youth, we published and launched a plan in December 2017 to enable the creative potential of every child and young person. This plan brings together a number of Departments, most critically the Department of Education and Skills, but also the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Arts Council. We have a very close working relationship and meet monthly. We are all working together to deliver pillar 1 of the programme. The plan sets out very specific goals within the Creative Ireland programme to ensure that every child in Ireland has practical access to tuition, experience and participation in music, drama, art and coding by 2022.
We committed more than €2 million to the programme in 2018 and are developing a number of pilots this year. We have been given the scope to see which of those pilots is most successful and could be mainstreamed.
Our flagship initiative is, perhaps, the one involving 150 creative schools which was announced recently. Almost 10% of schools nationally indicated that they wished to be known as creative schools and to take part in the programme. We have recruited 50 creative associates and teachers and given them some training. They are now fanning out to the 150 schools to work with children, teachers and principals to develop a bespoke creative plan for each school. Each school will itself identify the areas it wants to work on. It could be a particular art form. Perhaps a school in Dublin's inner city might choose a different art form from a school in Donegal. However, it is up to the school itself. We will also look at working with particular national organisations which have programmes for children in schools like, for example, Poetry Ireland and the Irish Film Institute. We have also invested considerable sums in continuing professional development, CPD, for teachers.
Another recent announcement involved the 68 schools chosen to be part of a creative clusters programme which my colleague, Mr. Eamonn Moran, can tell the committee about. Clusters are a particular initiative of the Department of Education and Skills. There is a creative cluster but there are also digital clusters and DEIS clusters. The idea is to get between two and five schools working together to use art and creativity to address shared challenges and achieve better learning outcomes. Each of these clusters has a small budget of approximately €2,500 to spend on a particular project in a school year.
We will shortly see the outcome of the creative youth partnerships process, applications for which have recently been submitted. This process aims to establish networks which will, in this instance, be led by the education and training boards, ETBs. Partnerships will foster real collaboration among local creative youth service providers. We hope this will bring about an improved use of resources and practices in each of the ETB areas. We envisage that three ETBs will be included in the pilot phase to be announced before Christmas. We are also building on CPD for teachers across primary and post-primary levels. We are looking to develop early years CPD also. CPD will serve truly to embed creative practice in school settings. We intend to continue to build on that in future years.
The second area of progress and one which involves a significant level of expenditure for Creative Ireland is the creative communities pillar, or pillar 2. In 2017, our Department allocated €1 million to 31 local authorities while the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government allocated an additional €1 million. All of this allowed us to establish cross-sectoral culture teams. There is a Creative Ireland co-ordinator in every local authority now. Our Department doubled this funding in 2018, which, along with the €1 million from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, has allowed us to increase activity and capacity building in local communities. We have more than 500 initiatives which range from the restoring of ships to intergenerational choirs to social farms where farming and the arts work together for those with intellectual disabilities. It is up to local communities themselves to decide how they wish to spend that money. We want to sustain this and build on it over the coming years.
It should be noted that this work builds on significant prior investment. As members know, the Arts Council and the Heritage Council are funding initiatives together with the Department of Rural and Community Development. Our secret sauce, however, is in that cross-sectoral working. This is the real value of the programme. We are bringing together librarians, heritage officers, arts officers, local enterprise officers and conservation officers, if they exist. These people work in teams where traditionally they might have been somewhat in a silo. One example from Creative Ireland in Cavan involves the funding of a new award-winning Cavan playwright, Philip Doherty, and the wonderful Aaron Monaghan of the Druid Theatre Company. This funding will allow two of Cavan's finest artists to work together for the first time. Creative Ireland in Kerry has funded a number of initiatives, including the development of creative hubs and incubation spaces at key locations across the county. That process is being researched, as is the possibility of film-making in the county and how, with Kerry Education and Training Board, the county's film-producing skill set could be explored. These long-term strategic projects run alongside events that might have been happening already but which, with Creative Ireland funding, can expand. Examples include the Sliabh Luachra music trail and the Creative Ireland Kerry grant scheme.
This year saw the roll-out of the first ever Cruinniú na nÓg, a national day of creativity for children and young people. Ireland is one of only a few countries in the world to have such an event. Approximately €800,000 was allocated to the roll-out, with each local authority receiving €10,000 to develop a specific programme of creative activity for children and young people in its communities which would have an expression on that one day in June. Dublin City Council was allocated €350,000 which was put through Dublin's Culture Connects, a company associated with the local authority, to run a number of initiatives within the city. A total of 500 events took place nationally and we had a successful media campaign in partnership with RTÉ and others to ensure that as much information as possible was available for those who wanted to get involved. We curated some special content for our social media channels, including short videos where some of the children involved in the run-up to the project were filmed making their projects as a way to encourage other children and young people to get involved. We also built a special website to allow people to search for events taking place in their local towns and villages. People could search by age of child or location. We worked with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to ensure that children were consulted in this process. We brought together a group of children of primary school age and of post-primary age to ask them what a day of creativity or a children's creative festival looks like to them. Their thinking informed the roll-out of the programme in 2018. We are looking at ways to improve the event even more for next year and working with our Creative Ireland co-ordinators in the 31 local authorities in that regard.
We also launched in 2018 a special Creative Ireland programme scheme, namely, the national creativity fund. The scheme allows innovative projects to apply for funding on a pilot basis where such projects have the potential to inform future Government policy and to scale up. We had a fantastic response with 287 applications. An independent panel of nine people assessed those applications from a variety of arts, heritage and other backgrounds, including rural development, and 30 projects were allocated funding to run over 2018 and 2019. We have put in place robust service-level agreements with these new projects and hope to work with them and support them and, perhaps more important, learn from them, feeding into wider Government policy. A sum of €1.2 million has been allocated to these projects, with the majority of the funding to be disbursed in 2019.
Communicating what we do is important as we want people to understand the importance of culture and creativity in the arts. We want to build audiences and we want to increase people's opportunities to engage, in particular at community level. That is why we invest in a good quality communications programme and website and have shot some films with some of the beneficiaries in local communities from Carlow to Cork regarding what we do. We want to use these platforms to access as many people as possible and widen their access to creative and cultural experiences. We engage with national and regional print and radio to develop high-quality resource material and information. More and more people are accessing us through our social channels. We had a large conference in Dublin Castle in December 2017 and had 12,500 people follow us as we live streamed the event for those who could not attend. I assure the committee that we will continue to monitor this to ensure there is value for money and an impact from it.
A full breakdown of all costs associated with the Creative Ireland programme in 2017 was published online and sent to this committee at the start of the year and, again, yesterday and we plan to do the same for 2018. The Creative Ireland programme presents opportunities across all areas of Government and we look forward to progressing it over the coming years.