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Tourism; Culture; Arts; Gaeltacht; Sport and Media | Cultural engagement Co Kildare

To ask the Minister for Tourism; Culture; Arts; Gaeltacht; Sport and Media the degree to which she continues to engage with cultural groups of local and national importance throughout the country and County Kildare with a view to maximisation of culture as a means of promoting business and boosting the economy at local and national level; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Tourism; Culture; Arts; Gaeltacht; Sport and Media the extent to which she and her office continue to encourage cultural projects at local and national level with a view to ensuring maximisation of economic benefit through the medium of culture and tourism; and if she will make a statement on the matter.


My Department’s priorities are set out in its published Statement of Strategy 2021—2023.  The Strategy sets out the actions that my Department will take over the coming period, both nationally and regionally, to enrich the quality of life in Ireland through supporting the development of tourism, culture, arts, sports, media and Irish language.  In the context of culture, the goal is to “support and develop engagement with, and in arts, culture and creativity by individuals and communities thereby enriching lives through cultural activity; and to promote Ireland’s arts, culture and creativity globally while also coordinating the Decade of Centenaries 2012–2023 commemorations programme.” The Statement of Strategy is available at this link

Some €371.4 million is allocated to the arts and culture sector this year including record levels of funding for the Arts Council and Screen Ireland in recent Budgets.   In Budget 2023, the Arts Council maintained the record €130 million funding allocated in 2021 and 2022, in recognition of the transformational impact of this funding in supporting artists and arts organisations as we look to further develop the sector. 

An additional €10m in 2023 to fund the Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme has been confirmed.  This is a three year, €105 million scheme involving 2,000 artists and creative arts workers which will support each beneficiary in developing and sustaining a professional arts practice.  This measure was the #1 ask from the Arts and Culture Recovery Task Force and will bring new life and support to the arts and culture sector on a national, regional and local basis.  In County Kildare, 84 people were selected in the random sample to receive the basic income payment for 3 years.

I am cognisant of the challenges faced by the arts, culture and live entertainment industry as the sector recovers post-pandemic.   I provided a €50 million suite of supports for the live performance sector in 2022, to provide performance and employment opportunities for artists and crews, including €5m for Local Authorities to support local artists and performances through the LLPSS (Local Live Performance Support Scheme).  This scheme has provided thousands of hours of employment for local musicians, artists and crews.

Funding for the arts and culture sector also includes €4 million to deliver a suite of initiatives proposed by the night-time economy task force. An additional €2 million was announced in Budget 2023 for capital supports for night-time economy stakeholders.

My department provided €5 million this year in additional funding for the national cultural institutions to ensure they continue to provide high-quality programming, to promote learning and engagement opportunities and to safeguard National Collections.  An additional €2.5 million has been allocated in Budget 2023 to help with this.   

My role as Minister with responsibility for leading the co-ordination of the Decade of Centenaries Programme (2012-2023) is to help ensure that the challenging events of this important and formative period in our history and related themes, are meaningfully, proportionately and sensitively remembered.  I have allocated €5 million to support the 2022 commemorative programme which will deliver rich and diverse national and local programmes marking the significant centenaries arising in 2022.  Many of these investment programmes will be delivered through the local authorities.   An allocation of €3 million has also been announced in Budget 2023 to develop, oversee and manage a new archive and exhibition space as part of the overall National Centre for Research and Remembrance.  This is being developed in partnership with a number of agencies over the coming years including the National Archives and the National Museum of Ireland.  

Earlier this year, I announced the Government’s decision to extend the Creative Ireland Programme until 2027.  Creative Ireland was launched in 2017 as an all-of-Government culture and wellbeing programme committed to the vision that every person should have the opportunity to realise their full creative potential.  Creative Ireland collaborates across Government and with arts, community and voluntary organisations to deploy creativity as a strategy for wellbeing, social cohesion and economic success.  Alongside its very successful Creative Youth initiative, the programme’s Creative Communities partnership with the 31 local authorities, and their delivery of thousands of creative projects, has been key to enabling community-led nationwide engagement.   Earlier this month Cruinniú na nÓg 2022, took place on Saturday 11 June 2022 with events in every county.  This initiativeis being delivered through the network of Creative Ireland Coordinators and local authority Culture and Creativity Teams in each of the 31 local authorities and is supported by RTÉ. 

In response to Covid-19,  capital funding towards the pilot Outdoor Public Space Scheme 2021  by my Department funds local authorities to adapt, equip or otherwise improve public spaces for cultural and events activities, taking account of public health guidelines and of the needs of the local arts community. Outdoor public spaces can provide year-round use can improve well-being and contribute positively to the public realm.

Support is provided to arts centres by local authorities and the Arts Council is critical to ensuring that a stable and vibrant network can be maintained  both for arts organisations and arts workers.  

My Department’s Tourism Services programme aims to support the tourism industry to recover and grow in a sustainable way.  Budget 2023 has secured continued additional funding of €15 million for overseas marketing of Ireland as a leading holiday destination and the development of the Invitation project.

Domestically, continued additional funding of €15 million will deliver a range of measures to support the sector including domestic marketing, transforming the digital capabilities of tourism businesses, boosting the industry’s recruitment and retention efforts, sustainable tourism initiatives, long-term investment in the US College Football Classic series, and establishment of a register of short-term letting properties as part of the Government’s “Housing for All” reforms.

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