Funding Secured For Investment In Arts And Culture Centres

Funding of €9 million has been announced for investment schemes for arts and cultural centres, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, has announced.

The scheme will run over the next three years and is focussed on upgrading the existing stock of arts and cultural centres around the country. The funding is being made available as part of the Government's Capital Investment Framework 2016-2021.

The scheme will target investment at a range of different facilities:

• The refurbishment and enhancement of existing purpose-built arts and cultural facilities, with maximum grants of €300,000. Eligible facilities would include arts centres, theatres, galleries, museums, artists' studios and creative spaces. It is envisaged that 15-20 facilities would benefit from this stream of funding.

• Significant improvements to a smaller number of key facilities. Ideally, projects seeking this stream of funding would have financial support from the relevant local authority. Grants are expected to be in excess of €1 million.

• Smaller grants of up to €20,000 for community or voluntary organisations operating in facilities which have not been purpose built.

Speaking today Minister Humphreys said: "There is a comprehensive network of arts and cultural facilities across the country, providing a wonderful service to their local communities and of course acting as a draw for tourists. I have visited a number of these facilities over the last year or so, and I am very aware that many of them are in need of investment.

"Thanks to the economic recovery, my Department now has the resources to invest in these facilities. It is my priority to target investment at existing facilities, to bring the current stock of arts centres up to standard. This €9 million scheme will run over the next three years, and we have designed it in such a way that venues of varying size and purpose will benefit.

"It is my hope that this funding will allow for a number of arts and cultural centres to be transformed, much to the benefit of their local community and indeed to the staff members who kept the facilities going when resources were scarce. This investment is an important way of supporting the arts in the regions, and ensuring people right across the country can access quality cultural facilities.

"This Government has invested considerably in improving our cultural infrastructure. Multi million euro refurbishment and expansion projects are underway at a number of our national cultural institutions, including the National Gallery and the National Archives, with works also planned for the National Library. This new €9 million cultural investment scheme will ensure that smaller, regional venues also feel the benefit as the economy continues to improve and that local arts provision is supported."


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