Primary support for the arts is delivered by the Arts Council, funding for which has increased steadily in recent years and will reach €80 million in 2020. The figure for 2020 will be €5 million, or an increase of 6.7% on that of 2019. The Arts Council, which is independent in its funding decisions under the Arts Act 2003, operates within a published ten-year strategic framework entitled Making Great Art Work. The strategy prioritises support for artists throughout their careers by the involvement of many agencies in cultural provision, the impact of the arts on the creative economy and the depth and breadth of people's engagement with the arts. The additional funding will allow the council to enhance its support for all artists and arts practices, including theatre. The Abbey Theatre, the Gate Theatre and the Druid Theatre Company receive significant financial support from the Arts Council.
The allocation to the Arts Council in 2020 should be considered in conjunction with the significant funding in 2020 of more than €7 million from my Department to support the 2020 European City of Culture, Galway. This is a significant sum to support artistic and creative activities in 2020.
The remit of Culture Ireland, a division of my Department, is to promote and advance Irish arts worldwide, thus strengthening Ireland's cultural profile and global reputation. Strategic priorities include providing support for the international presentation of Irish artists and arts organisations, developing new and diverse international audiences and markets for Irish arts, and linking culture into the Government's international promotion strategy in tandem with other relevant State agencies.
Total funding for the arts and culture sector will increase by more than 2% in 2020, from €189 million to just under €193 million, comprising €153 million in current expenditure and €39.7 million in capital. My Department and I will continue to work with all my Government colleagues to deliver on the commitment to increase Government spending on arts and culture and double funding for the sector by 2025. I am already delivering additional funding to the arts and culture sector, building on the €1.2 billion earmarked for culture, heritage and the Irish language under Project Ireland 2040, thus leading to increased activity and employment in all sectors under the remit of my Department.