I met with representatives of the centre to which the Deputy refers on 15 May 2019. The centre has identified some capital funding requirements which would be beneficial to its ongoing work. Project Ireland 2040 'Investing in our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018-2027' sets out the Government’s objectives for capital investment in Ireland’s culture, language and heritage. The plan includes a total of €40 million over 10 years from 2018 to 2027 to secure existing investment in arts and culture infrastructure nationwide and ensure a regional balance. A total of €3.9m was spent on arts and culture infrastructure in 2018. This level of investment will ensure the upkeep of regional infrastructure right across the country.
The recent Arts and Culture Capital Scheme allocated €10.2 million to 134 projects under three complementary grant streams for the refurbishment and enhancement of the existing arts and culture facilities throughout the country. Over €7.6m of this funding will be paid out over the coming years. This is the most significant investment in cultural infrastructure in a decade with funding provided to arts centres, theatres, galleries and museums, artists’ studios and creative spaces. The list of these projects with the amounts of their allocations is available on my Department’s website.
This Scheme is making a huge difference to many individual organisations and we are seeing excellent outcomes and significant positive feedback. My Department is currently giving consideration to new round of grant funding for Arts and Cultural Capital to be announced later this year.
In the meantime, the Arts Council in conjunction with local government through the County and City Management Association commissioned an independent, strategic review of the network of venues and arts centres across the country.
The review focusses on the infrastructure of professionally-managed arts buildings that are open to the public throughout the year, and will be used to help develop a coordinated, spatially-informed strategy to support and develop the built infrastructure for the arts. A consultation phase was incorporated into the study and all stakeholders had an opportunity to participate. This review will inform my Department's framing of the new round of arts and culture capital funding.