€339 Million Budget Package in 2019 for Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD, announced additional funding of over €36 million for her Department in 2019, an increase of 12% on 2018 allocations.

The increase in funding is comprised of €21 million in capital expenditure, an increase of 39% on 2018 funding and €15 million in current expenditure (6% increase) and will allow for total expenditure of some €339 million towards our culture, our language and our heritage in 2019.

Key highlights of Budget 2019:

· Arts and culture funding up by €22.6m or 13.5% – comprising €10.6m (7.7%) increase in current funding and €12m (or 14%) in capital;
· Arts Council funding is up by 10% to €75m, including over €6m in current funding, more than double the increase of 2018;
· Built and Natural Heritage funding up by over €7.1m or nearly 15% – of this increase €5.2m is capital; and
· Gaeltacht, Irish language and the Islands funding increased by €5m (8%) on 2018 allocations. This includes an additional €2m in funding for Údarás na Gaeltachta to support the maintenance and creation of jobs in Gaeltacht areas and increase supports for Gaeltacht co-operatives, and an additional €600k to continue the implementation phase of the language planning process.

Speaking after the Budget 2019 announcement, Minister Madigan said: “This increased funding is tangible evidence of the importance attached to our cultural and creative heritage under Project Ireland 2040 and clearly demonstrates this Government’s commitment to increase spending in the arts and culture sector on a trajectory that will see funding doubled by 2025.”

Visual Artists Ireland and the National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) in particular welcomes the €6.8 million uplift for the Arts Council in Budget 2019, given the central role the Arts Council plays in supporting artistic creation across the entire country.

In response to the announcement, NCFA Chair Angela Dorgan said:
“The 10% uplift in today’s Budget 2019 allocation to the Arts Council is welcomed by the NCFA and demonstrates significant progress towards the restoration of the Arts Council’s pre-recession allocation, which has been dramatically cut since 2008, causing untold damage to the Arts sector in Ireland. The NCFA also welcomes the increase in funding for Creative Ireland, not least in relation to its important work through the Creative Youth programme. These additional investments help to make up ground in the delivery of the Government’s commitment to doubling investment in the Arts and Culture sector over the next six years.”

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