‘Investing in Our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018 – 2027’

Minister Josepha Madigan TD announces plan to invest €1.2 billion in our culture, heritage and language infrastructure as part of Project Ireland 2040

  • €460 million for our National Cultural Institutions.
  • €265 million for cultural and creativity investment programme.
  • €285 million for natural and built heritage.
  • €178 million for the Gaeltacht, the Irish language and the Islands.
  • Further details on the breakdown of the investment programme is provided in our sectoral plan – Investing in our Culture, Language and Heritage – which is available here

Investing in Our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018 – 2027
is a ten year plan setting out the Government’s commitment for capital investment of almost €1.2 billion in Ireland’s culture, language and heritage.

Minister Madigan was joined at a special forum to launch the plan by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D., Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., and Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Joe McHugh T.D.

Priority projects under the National Cultural Institutions Investment Programme of €460 million are:

  • National Library of Ireland renovation;
  • National Archives of Ireland renovation;
  • National Museum of Ireland masterplan redevelopment;
  • National Concert Hall renovation;
  • Crawford Art Gallery redevelopment;
  • National Theatre redevelopment;
  • Irish Museum of Modern Art renovation;
  • National Gallery of Ireland – further phases of the masterplan redevelopment;
  • Chester Beatty Library improvements.

A Cultural and Creativity investment programme comprising €265 million will be closely aligned with the cultural infrastructure, creative communities and creative industries pillars of the Creative Ireland Programme.

  • €200 million will be invested in our vibrant media production and audio visual industries which will have a positive impact right across the country
  • A €40 million programme of investing in cultural infrastructure across all regions will see support for the maintenance and development of regional arts centres, theatres, regional museums, galleries, archives, multi-use facilities, artist studios etc.
  • A €10 million national digitisation investment programme will see national collections digitised over the course of the plan supporting the conservation, preservation and dissemination of the national collections;
  • Galway as EU Capital of Culture will receive €15 million funding for its cultural programme under the Plan.

Priority Projects – Under the €285m Heritage Programme

  • €50 million programme of investment for our national parks and reserves right across the country to deliver a world class visitor experience for the 4 million people that visit the Parks annually.
  • Investing €85 million in our historic environment.  This will include initiatives to revitalise the historic cores of urban centres, restoration of the Ulster Canal and inland waterways, maintain and protect heritage assets like Valentia Island Cable Station, and investments to improve public access to and restoring historic buildings to use;
  • Investment programme of €60 million in our national Built Heritage.  Investments in protecting and conserving built heritage including National Monuments through the Built Heritage Investment Scheme and Historic Structures Fund will be delivered under this strand.

Priority projects under the €178m Plan for investing in the Gaeltacht, the Irish language and the islands are:

  • Invest €33 million in actions to support the Gaeltacht Language Planning Process.
  • Invest €105 million in Gaeltacht areas through Údarás na Gaeltachta.  This will include an increase in Údarás na Gaeltachta’s annual Exchequer capital allocation to €12 million, thus creating 1,000 jobs annually and facilitating the upgrade of Údarás na Gaeltachta’s property portfolio;
  • €13 million to support Irish Language Networks and Gaeltacht Service Towns through the development of language and culture hubs across the country with a flagship centre to support Irish language speakers in Dublin;
  • €27 million to improve marine infrastructure for Inis Oírr, Inis Meáin and Oileán Thoraí.

Speaking today, Minister Madigan said: “I am delighted to launch this historic capital investment plan in our culture, language and heritage. This level of investment will transform our cultural and heritage infrastructure right across the country.  It is also an important statement for this and future generations: our culture, language and heritage are fundamental to all of our lives.  They affect our education, our public buildings and public spaces.  They impact the relationship between the citizen and the State, and the relationship of citizens to each other.  They are about our identity and our values. Cultural infrastructure provides a home for all of us, a space for all us to meet, to exchange ideas, to create the new, to imagine what could be. With this announcement, I am delighted that we have delivered on an important pillar of the Creative Ireland Programme. ”

At the event today, An Taoiseach said: “Irish culture, music, language and art is the window through which most of the world sees us for the first time. It’s central to our positive global image and reputation. Culture and creativity enriches our lives, is a substantial part of our economy employing people all over Ireland, and is a driver of tourism. For all these reasons, we have put together a ten year investment package for culture. It’s fully funded and forms part of the Project Ireland 2040 plan, and goes a long way to honouring my commitment to double government spending on arts, culture and heritage over the next seven years.”

“We’re investing in venues, concert halls and museums where our culture is presented, around Ireland and in our cities. We’re investing in local arts and culture, in our national parks and historic monuments, and digitising more national collections to ensure they can be enjoyed everywhere. And we’re investing in the Irish language, inside and outside the Gaeltacht. I want to commend Minister Madigan and my other colleagues in Government for bringing these exciting plans to life.”

Speaking at the launch, Minister Donohoe said: “The scale of the investment in our cultural and heritage infrastructure that we are now announcing is unprecedented. This investment will deepen our cultural foundations in every part of our country; it will allow us to create world-class cultural institutions; it will protect and enhance our built and natural heritage; and it will support our Gaeltacht and Island communities, allowing our language to prosper. Our culture and heritage are expressions of our soul as a people. Investing in in these not only brings to life all that we are, and all that we have to offer, to those who are visiting from foreign shores, it also acts as a reminder to us of our achievements and what we have accomplished down through the years. Ensuring that our heritage sector – in the form of our parks and nature reserves – is well resourced, means that our places of spectacular beauty are also safeguarded so they can be enjoyed now and into the future. This investment, over the next ten years, demonstrates the Government’s commitment to the sector and emphasises the importance we place on protecting it for future generations.”

Minister of State McHugh commented: “This funding will allow us to really make a difference for Irish speaking communities and networks both within and outside the Gaeltacht and on the Islands.  We will be prioritising investments that will help sustain these communities, as well as creating opportunities for more people in all parts of the country to engage with the Irish language.”



Notes to Editor

‘Investing in Our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018 – 2027’ can be found here

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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