“Boost for arts, culture and creativity” – Minister Humphreys announces €300 million budget package for 2018

The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, today (Tuesday) announced a funding package of over €300 million in 2018 towards the development of our cultural and creative heritage. The Minister has secured an increase in funding to her Department of €13 million, comprising €9 million in current expenditure and €4 million in capital expenditure. This includes an €8.5 million boost in funding for arts and culture to accelerate the Creative Ireland Programme, which is designed to mainstream creativity in the life of the nation. She has also secured an additional €90 million in capital funding between 2018 and 2021 to allow for multi-annual planning for the first time, to benefit our National Cultural Institutions in particular.

Key highlights of Budget 2018:

  • An additional €3 million for the Arts Council, a 5% increase in its annual budget bringing it to €68 million (up 20% since 2014);
  • An increase of €1.5 million for the Irish Film Board, a 9% increase in its annual budget bringing it to €18 million (up 29% since 2014);
  • Department funding to Local Authorities for Creative Ireland initiatives doubled;
  • €2m to the Creative Children initiative, including €1 million from the Department of Education and Skills;
  • A 14% increase in funding for Culture Ireland (€3.5 million to €4 million);
  • Boosts in funding for all of the National Cultural Institutions;
  • Additional Capital Funding for a further round of the highly successful ‘Arts and Culture Capital Scheme’ in 2018;
  • An extra €1 million for Waterways Ireland;
  • A further €1.5 million for Heritage including measures to support biodiversity;
  • An extra €2.5 million for the Irish language and the Gaeltacht;
  • €90 million in capital funding between 2018 and 2021, an increase of almost 50% for that period.

Speaking today, Minister Humphreys said:

“It is an exciting moment for arts, culture and creativity in Ireland, from the opening of landmark exhibitions in our National Cultural Institutions to innovative community arts projects. Through Budget 2018, I am re-affirming my commitment to continued investment in the sector as the economy improves.

“The Creative Ireland Programme, which I launched last year, is already yielding positive results in both rural and urban communities, with more and more people engaging with creativity than ever before. I am determined to build on this momentum in 2018 by providing funding increases to key institutions, agencies and initiatives that deliver arts, creativity and culture right across the country.

“The additional funds will be used to further develop the Programme to increase citizen engagement with creativity in Ireland. I will also be working to build on our existing relationships with our various partners on the Programme.

“The Arts Council, which plays a crucial role in the direct funding and development of arts in Ireland, will receive an additional €3 million to enhance its support to artists and arts organisations of all sizes throughout the country. Although an autonomous body, the Council’s work builds on all pillars of the Creative Ireland Programme, and I look forward to continued successful collaboration with them in the year ahead.

“I am allocating a further €1.5 million to the Irish Film Board to build on its vital work in supporting Irish film, television drama, documentary and animation. Similarly, its work is key to the successful roll out of Pillar 4 of the Creative Ireland Programme, which is focussed on fostering Ireland’s potential as a centre of excellence in media production.

“Increasing access to arts, culture and creativity is the driving force of the Creative Ireland Programme, which is why I have allocated €1 million to accelerate the Creative Children initiative under Pillar 1 of the Programme. I am pleased to say that this will be matched by a further €1 million from my colleague Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Education and Skills, bringing the budget to €2 million for 2018. The programme will be delivered in partnership with the Arts Council.

“For the same reason, I will double my Department’s funding to local authorities in 2018 to support and build on the work of our local Creative Ireland Culture Teams, and have also secured additional capital funding to invest in regional arts and cultural centres. This will harness the energy of Pillar 2 of the Programme, ‘Enabling Creativity in Every Community’, which saw 750 events taking place across Ireland in 2017.  It will also help to actively support cultural participation in rural communities, which is a key commitment in the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development.

“Culture Ireland will receive an extra €500,000 next year, enabling an enhanced culture programme to be presented across Great Britain in 2018. This will build on the unique cultural relationship between the two countries and expand the reach of Irish culture to new audiences. It will also build on Pillar 5 of the Creative Ireland Programme, which hinges on extending our cultural footprint globally and highlighting our culture as a unique national strength.

“I will also continue to work with the Expert Advisory Committee and the All-Party Oireachtas Group on Commemorations to develop a respectful and appropriate programme of commemorations for 2018 and onwards.

“The Creative Ireland Programme is the implementation vehicle for a wider, all of Government policy on culture in Ireland, and also links to the heritage, Gaeltacht and Irish language sectors, where I have also increased funding for 2018.

“In addition to the 2018 funding envelope, I have secured additional capital funding of €90 million for culture, heritage and the Gaeltacht for the period between 2018 and 2021. This represents an increase of almost 50% in my Department’s capital budget over that period, and will, for the first time, allow for incremental planning on a multi-annual basis, to benefit our National Cultural Institutions and regional arts infrastructure, in particular.

“Our country is bursting with creativity. Today, I am demonstrating my continued commitment to bolstering and mainstreaming that creativity through the overarching framework of the Creative Ireland Programme, together with partners at national and local level.”

Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Joe McHugh TD, said:

“Support of the Irish language and the sustainable development of our island communities will remain key priorities in 2018. Additional funding of €2.5 million will focus on the delivery of the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030 to increase the use and knowledge of Irish as a vibrant community language.

“I have ensured the strengthening of the language planning process in 2018 through a significant funding increase of €1.4 million. Údarás na Gaeltachta, which provides crucial support for enterprise and community development in Gaeltacht communities, will also benefit from additional funds, along with Language Support Schemes outside the Gaeltacht.”

Funding for the National Cultural Institutions

Additional funding of €1.7 million has been secured for our National Cultural Institutions in 2018, with every Institution benefitting, in line with Pillar 3 of the Creative Ireland Programme, ‘Investing in our Creative and Cultural Infrastructure’. They will also be a priority in terms of the additional €90 million in capital funding between 2018 and 2021, with further details to be announced in due course. The Minister has indicated that she intends to make a further announcement in relation to the longer term, 10 year capital funding for the re-development of our National Cultural Institutions over the coming weeks.

Funding for Heritage

The Minister has allocated additional funding of €2.55 million for built and natural heritage, taking in €900,000 in current funding and almost €1.7 million in capital funding, including funding for Waterways Ireland. This means increased support for the Heritage Council; a supplementary €500,000 investment in heritage buildings across the country; and funding to support the national Biodiversity Action Plan and to target invasive species.



Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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