09/06/2015: New legislation will place National Concert Hall on statutory footing – Minister Humphreys
New legislation will place National Concert Hall on statutory footing – Minister Humphreys
Tuesday, June 9th 2015: The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, has today published the National Cultural Institutions (National Concert Hall) Bill 2015 following approval by the Government. The Bill will place the National Concert Hall (NCH) on a statutory footing.
The Bill sets out the overall strategic functions of the NCH and puts in place an updated standard corporate governance framework for the Hall. The Draft Heads of the Bill were considered by the Oireachtas Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht and a number of the Committee’s recommendations have been incorporated into the Bill.
Speaking today Minister Humphreys said:
“I am pleased to announce the publication of this Bill, which will place the NCH on a statutory footing. This is in the best interests of the Hall, which is an iconic venue and one of our most important cultural institutions.
“This legislation will ensure the NCH is underpinned by strong corporate governance, and I believe it will help to ensure the Hall’s continued growth as a statutory body. The most recent annual report from the NCH shows audience figures are on the rise and that the Concert Hall made a direct contribution of over €38 million to the local economy in 2014.
“The NCH is a major cultural asset, and I want to see it developed as a world class venue, which showcases musical excellence. This legislation is an essential component in achieving that aim. The Bill will increase transparency at the NCH by making it accountable to Oireachtas Committees. It will also mean that the accounts of the NCH will be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
“I would like to thank the Oireachtas Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht for their valuable input during the pre-legislative process. I have taken on board the feedback from the Committee, in particular in relation to the need to ensure the independence of the Hall. Indeed, Section 8 of the Bill is a direct result of the engagement with the Committee.
“I would also like to thank the Chairman and the Board of the National Concert and its staff for their very useful contribution towards the development of this Bill. Their expertise has been of particular assistance to my Department.
“In tandem with placing the NCH on a statutory footing, the Government is also making a significant capital investment in the Hall. The historic Kevin Barry Rooms are being restored and redeveloped as part of the Government’s €22 million capital programme for Ireland 2016. It is intended this work will be completed in time for the centenary of the Easter Rising.
“I view this Bill as an important step for the National Concert Hall in its continued development as a central component of the cultural life of this country. I look forward to the debate on this Bill in both Houses of the Oireachtas.”