The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced (13.02.2017) details of more than €9 million in capital funding for museums, arts and culture centres across the country. The Minister made the announcement as part of the Creative Ireland programme, with funding provided under her Department's Arts and Culture Capital Scheme 2016-2018.
A total of 56 cultural organisations will benefit from this capital investment, including theatres, heritage centres, galleries, archives, integrated arts centres, artist studios and creative and performance spaces. Among the museums who will receive substantial funding allocations are The Hunt Museum in Limerick, Donegal County Museum, Limerick City Gallery of Art, Jackie Clarke Collection and Galway City Museum.
Projects will receive funding ranging from €20,000 to €1,000,000.
Speaking on occasion of the announcement, Minister Humphreys said:
"This €9 million announcement is the most significant investment in regional arts and cultural centres in a decade. The Creative Ireland Programme places a focus on investing in our cultural infrastructure, because high quality infrastructure is critical for a vibrant arts and culture sector, which in turn underpins social cohesion and supports sustainable economic growth.
"I have visited numerous arts and cultural centres over the last number of years, and it is abundantly clear to me that we are well served in terms of the number of centres nationwide. The main objective of these capital grants is to maintain and enhance the existing stock of arts and culture centres, many of which need to be upgraded.
"We deliberately made this scheme as flexible as possible to ensure projects of varying sizes could benefit. The largest funding awards - of €1 million each - are going to Wexford Arts Centre and the Riverbank Arts Centre in Kildare. However a wide variety of other projects will also benefit including new lighting and sound systems in theatres, the conversion of an old Post Office to an artist studio and the improvement of digital facilities. These projects all aim to improve the audience and creative experience. This funding package will also ensure past investment in these arts and cultural centres is protected and sustained.
"This kind of investment goes to the very heart of what I am trying to achieve through Creative Ireland and the Action Plan for Rural Development. Creative Ireland aims to place culture and creativity at the heart of every community nationwide, while the Rural Action Plan seeks to revitalise rural towns and villages through a range of investments and initiatives. Of the €9 million in funding I am announcing today, over 85% is going to projects outside Dublin. However, a number of very important cultural facilities in the capital will benefit, including The Irish Film Institute, the Ark, the Gallery of Photography and the Project Arts Centre.
"Creative Ireland aims to promote individual, community and national wellbeing through cultural activity. A vibrant cultural sector is essential to society and investment in local arts and cultural centres helps to facilitate access to and participation in the arts in communities nationwide.
"I will be opening a further Stream of funding under this Scheme (Stream 3) in the coming weeks. It will be geared towards providing smaller capital grants of up to €20,000 to not-for-profit organisations with a defined arts and cultural remit. While the amounts involved are relatively modest, the grants will in themselves make a huge difference to individual organisations."
Click here to view the full announcement and full list of organisations to benefit from funding under Stream 1 and 2 of the Arts and Cultural Capital Scheme 2016-2018.