Economic recovery allows increased funding for culture, commemorations and heritage – Minister Humphreys
Budget 2016 provides €310m gross budget for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (Tuesday) said that the economic recovery has allowed for a 12% increase in her Department’s Budget for 2016, which will provide additional funding across a range of areas including the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, a new investment programme for regional arts and cultural centres and a boost in the Department’s heritage budget.
Key highlights of Budget 2016 include:
- 12% increase in funding for the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht compared to 2015
- Over €48 million for the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, including almost €31 million for major capital works, and additional funding for an inclusive and wide ranging national and international commemorative programme, including State events, local community initiatives, a wide range of arts and cultural projects, and €3 million earmarked for Culture Ireland’s international programme for 2016 and the Abbey Theatre
- An additional €8 million for a cultural infrastructure programme to fund a new scheme of grants to existing regional arts and cultural centres and funding for the Cork Event Centre
- Increase in the cap on the Section 481 film industry tax relief from €50 million to €70 million
- An additional €2 million in funding for the Department’s heritage programme
- Boost in funding for the National Cultural Institutions and the Arts Council
Speaking today Minister Humphreys said:
“The arts, culture and heritage sectors, like all sectors of the economy, suffered considerably during the financial crisis. But thanks to the economic recovery, we are now in a position once again to invest in our arts, culture and heritage, which will benefit communities right across the country.
“My Department’s biggest priority for next year is the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. I am very pleased to have secured funding of more than €48 million for this initiative, the majority of which will be spent on major capital projects such as the new commemorative and visitor centres at Moore Street and the GPO, and the redevelopment of the National Archives and the National Concert Hall. These projects will leave a lasting legacy from the commemorations. The allocation for 2016 will also support the extensive list of State events, a significant international arts programme run by Culture Ireland, as well as programmes in our Cultural Institutions, local community initiatives and major set piece events.
“Investing in our cultural infrastructure is hugely important; arts and cultural centres not only enrich local communities, they also help to drive economic growth. My Department will be rolling out a new scheme of grants to help upgrade and improve existing arts and cultural centres across the country.
“Funding for the Arts Council and the National Cultural Institutions will also be boosted in 2016. This will allow the Arts Council to support arts organisations around the country on both a small and large scale, from locally-based groups to the organisations with a national remit, such as the Abbey Theatre. It also demonstrates the importance attached to promoting and supporting our world class artistic and cultural strengths.
“Minister Noonan’s commitment to raise the cap for eligible expenditure under the Section 481 film tax relief to €70 million will deliver a welcome boost to the film and TV industry. Raising this threshold will help to attract more big budget productions to these shores, and will enhance Ireland’s reputation as an international film location.
“The increase in funding to my Department’s heritage programme is also extremely welcome. I hope to announce details of a scheme shortly which will provide support to built heritage across the country. This year’s budget allocation will also allow for the continued operation and management of our 6 national parks and 78 nature reserves and continued compensation, relocation and restorative measures for landowners affected by the EU Habitats and Birds Directives.
“The Department will continue to prioritise the support of the Irish language and the sustainable development of our island communities in 2016. Funding allocations for the Islands and for the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language have both been increased for 2016 and the development of a cultural centre at Teach an Phiarsaigh, Ros Muc, Co Galway as part of the Ireland 2016 programme will be completed.”
Note to Editors:
The Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, led by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, T.D., is a year-long programme of activity to commemorate the events of the 1916 Rising, to reflect on our achievements over the last 100 years and to look towards Ireland’s future.
The programme comprises of seven strands; State Ceremonial, Historical Reflection, Community Participation, An Teanga Bheo – the Living Language, Youth and Imagination, Cultural Expression and Global and Diaspora.
Capital funding being provided as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme will allow for the completion of a number of significant capital commemorative projects, including:
- the GPO Interpretative & Exhibition Centre;
- the new visitor centre at Teach an Phiarsaigh, Ros Muc;
- the Tenement Museum at 14 Henrietta Street in Dublin; and
- the refurbishment of Richmond Barracks, Dublin.
- The redevelopment of the Kevin Barry Rooms at the National Concert Hall
- Expansion and improvement works at the National Archives.
- There is also provision for the development of a 1916 Commemorative Centre at the National Monument at 14-17 Moore Street and for a number of other important commemorative projects, including at Glasnevin Cemetery and the Athenaeum in Enniscorthy
The Arts Council and the National Cultural Institutions:
Minister Humphreys secured an additional €2 million in once-off funding for the Arts Council as part of the 2015 Revised Estimates. This has been retained for this year, with an additional allocation of €500,000. This means the Budget 2016 allocation for the Arts Council is €2.5 million higher than the Budget 2015 allocation.
Minister Humphreys also secured an additional €2 million in once-off funding for our National Cultural Institutions as part of the 2015 Revised Estimates. This funding was aimed at addressing specific issues in a number of key institutions, including the National Library and the National Museum. However, this additional funding has been retained for 2016. The Cultural Institutions will also benefit from additional funding under the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme.
Section 481 provides tax relief towards the cost of film production. A number of enhancements to Section 481 came into effect in January 2015; the scheme has been extended until the end of 2020 and the value of Section 481 increased to 32% of qualifying expenditure, from its previous value of 28%. Minister Noonan committed to keep the scheme under review in Budget 2015and has delivered on this commitment by increasing the cap for eligible expenditure to €70 million, up from its current level of €50 million.