Budget 2017 | Additional €5m for the Arts Council, overall budget for arts down by 16 per cent

205925_54_news_hub_175600_656x500The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, on Tuesday announced increases in funding across a range of arts and heritage bodies under her Department’s remit for Budget 2017. The Minister has said that Budget 2017 will allow her Department to build on the positive legacy of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, while also delivering for rural communities across the country.

While the overall budget for arts was down by 16 per cent (€188.5m in 2016, reduced to €158.3m for 2017), Ms Humphreys said this was due to one-off capital funding in 2016 for Easter Rising-related projects such as the GPO visitor centre.

Key points on the arts in Budget 2017 include:

  • An additional €5 million for the Arts Council, an 8% increase in its annual budget;
  • Boosts in funding for all of the National Cultural Institutions;
  • An increase of €2 million for the Irish Film Board and €1 million for Culture Ireland;
  • An additional €1 million to assist the Heritage Council with its work;
  • Funding of €5 million for implementation of Culture 2025/Ireland 2016 Legacy Programme;
  • €40 million for the delivery of the LEADER Rural Development Programme in 2017

 

Speaking to The Irish Times the Arts Council chair, Sheila Pratschke, said the increase of 8 per cent in the Arts Council’s budget was:

“a major vote of confidence in it. It also recognises the important contribution that the arts make to the lives of people across Ireland. We particularly welcome the hard work and commitment demonstrated by Heather Humphreys, in securing this increase in funding for the arts in a very competitive budget process”.

 

In a press release issued from The National Campaign for the Arts, NCFA Chairperson Jo Mangan said –

“We recognise all the efforts made by Minister Humphreys to maximize the outcome for her department. While recognising the positive impact of the steps taken, we are disappointed that the outcome was not more positive for the sector. In our pre-Budget submission the NCFA stressed the need to work urgently toward restoring the €30 million stripped from the Arts Council funding since 2008 and the devastating cuts to the National Cultural Institutions. This would have provided some much needed stability for artists and arts organisations. There is strong disappointment coming from members who expected a significant increase from Budget 2017, in order to make extraordinary art happen for the citizens of Ireland. At 0.1% of GDP, Ireland’s expenditure on Arts and Culture is at the bottom of the list of EU countries compared with an average of 0.6%, surely something no country can condone. The NCFA calls on the Government to rethink their ongoing strategy for the arts and work actively with the arts community to raise arts funding to the EU average as a matter of urgency.”

 

For further breakdown of allocations see: www.ahrrga.gov.ie/minister-humphreys-prioritises-culture-and-rural-ireland-in-budget-2017/

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