Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Ceisteanna (12, 23)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh


12. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her views on whether the funding proposed for European City of Culture programme Galway 2020 will be adequate and ambitious enough to deliver a first class programme. [16486/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Connolly


23. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht further to Parliamentary Question No. 62 of 16 January 2019, the breakdown of sponsorship raised by Galway 2020 to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16598/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 12 and 23 together.

In December 2014, the Government decided that Ireland should exercise its right to nominate a European Capital of Culture for 2020 and committed in principle at that time to provide €15m to the selected project. Galway's designation as European Capital of Culture 2020, is a great honour for Ireland and a wonderful opportunity to strengthen and promote our culture nationally and internationally. It is particularly important in ever changing circumstances that Ireland uses this opportunity well to celebrate the creativity of Galway, on the periphery of Europe and mark Ireland's place in this important EU led celebrations of culture.

The Government's support of €15m represents the largest single contribution to the overall cost of Galway 2020 as the European Capital of Culture.  The Government's contribution is provided under the terms of a Performance Delivery Agreement setting out the respective roles and responsibilities of the Department and Galway 2020 in the provision and expenditure of the grant, the key deliverables and performance indicators attached to the drawdown of the grant. 

In addition to the funding being granted by my Department the other key partners are Galway City Council and Galway County Council who have guaranteed a minimum of €6m and €2m respectively. 

A full breakdown of Galway 2020’s income and expenditure is publicly available on the website and reported to my Department on a quarterly basis as part of our performance delivery agreement.

A large scale fundraising drive is underway.  Galway 2020’s fundraising team is engaging with local, national and international businesses very positively and effectively.  It is understood that the process to negotiate and agree packages with fundraising partners takes time to finalise for each individual business and Galway 2020 are of course anxious to ensure that both sides get the same level of satisfaction from the partnership.

As is normal for projects of this scale, it is envisaged that the fundraising drive will continue throughout 2019, into and during 2020, with funding realised throughout the entire duration of the project.

In line with the terms of the Performance Delivery Agreement, regular monitoring meetings are held between my Department, Galway 2020 and Galway City Council and Galway County Council, as the other main stakeholders,

Galway 2020’s ambition is to deliver an artistic and cultural programme that will exceed expectations and leave a lasting legacy for Galway city and county.  In January 2019, Artichoke, under the leadership of Helen Marriage was appointed to deliver the Creative Leadership role for the project.  Having masterminded many large and unique cultural events, spectacles and arts performances, this expertise and creativity will be brought to bear in an imaginative programme for Galway 2020.

As Galway 2020 is moving into the delivery phase of the Capital of Culture, it is signing contracts with organisations, artists and performers for the performances and events that they will hold under the overall delivery programme.  The programme continues to evolve as Galway 2020 has this week announced an exciting open call for communities to develop projects for inclusion in

the cultural programme for Galway 2020, European Capital of Culture. 

Funding of €200,000 will be awarded by Galway 2020 across the successful

community groups to create and deliver thrilling projects that could transform

their communities.  These projects will form will form an integral part of

the cultural programme for 2020

At an organisational level, a number of changes have taken place over the past year. The company is now led by Patricia Philbin, formerly of Galway City Council, who had a direct role in the bid book phase and recent appointments to the Board include Arthur Lappin as Chair. In addition, the securing of the cultural production company Artichoke. Artichoke who has a proven track record in programming, funding and audience development, has given the project important cultural leadership.  

While aspects of these changes gave rise to some local concerns during the initial bedding down stage, I believe that it is now timely for all to work within the timeframe to assist in delivering what is being designed an exciting and innovative programme for 2020 in Galway.

The first of the monitoring meetings was held with the company in February when officials from my Department met with the Chief Executives of Galway City Council and Galway County Council, and separately with the senior management team in Galway 2020 to discuss progress on all key aspects of the project. All parties are working together to achieve the best possible programme in 2020.

To date funding has been paid to Galway 2020 toward certified expenditure incurred on the research and development phase for 27 projects that will comprise the key deliverables under the culture programme for Galway 2020. This expenditure is in line with the terms of the performance delivery agreement, which aligns Department funding to the successful delivery of the cultural projects concerned.

It is proposed that the Government funding will be rolled out on the basis of €6 million in 2019   and the remainder of the Government committed funding will flow over 2020 and 2021. I believe this level of support with additional funding by other public and private partners will deliver an ambitious and exciting first-class programme for Galway 2020 as European Capital of Culture.

Preparations for Galway as European Capital of Culture 2020 are progressing apace. I understand that the Galway 2020 team is working hard to deliver an artistic and cultural programme that will exceed expectations and leave a lasting legacy for the city and county of Galway and Ireland.

Ireland is not unique in having personnel changes during the planning and delivery phase of a European Capital of Culture. What is important now that structures and personnel are in place, is that the public funding commitment to Galway 2020 is used to maximum impact to show globally that Galway and Ireland are a place of creativity, innovation and an exciting programme is on offer for all to experience.