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. Arthur Lappin has recently been appointed as Chair of the Board of Galway 2020 and Artichoke, under the leadership of Helen Marriage, was appointed in January 2019 to deliver the Creative Director role for the project. Artichoke is well known globally for the successful delivery of large-scale and unique cultural events and performances and has a proven track record in programming, funding and audience development. This expertise and creativity will be brought to bear in an imaginative programme for Galway 2020.
I am pleased to inform the Deputy that Galway 2020 has this week announced an exciting open call for communities to develop projects for 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 an integral part of the cultural programme for 2020.
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 2019, 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.
I am satisfied that Galway 2020 is progressing well with developing an imaginative and effective 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 both in Galway and in Ireland as a whole.