Minister Madigan announces €339 million budget package for arts, culture and creativity in 2019

The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD has 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 culture, language and heritage in 2019.

The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) welcomes the Budget 2019 increase for funding for the arts.

Commenting, Victor Finn, CEO of IMRO said,

Today’s announcement of an increase in funding for the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is welcome. In a challenging budgetary environment, it shows commitment on behalf of Government to continue towards the doubling of arts funding by 2025 as set out by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. At IMRO, on behalf of our 12,000 members who are musicians, songwriters and performers in Ireland, we believe that now is the time for a National Music Strategy. Such a strategy, delivered at very minimal cost and involving industry and Government collaboration, can support real growth in Irish music and we hope that today’s announcement creates space to deliver on it.

 We look forward to continuing to engage with Minister Madigan and her officials in the months ahead to progress with this important plan – by working together, we can secure the future for Ireland’s music sector.”

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 2025The increased funding will facilitate further work in terms of the planning and early stage implementation of the Department’s 10 year Capital Plan ‘Investing in our Culture, Language & Heritage 2018-2027’ across all programme areas – together with increased support for arts and artists via the Arts Council and Creative Ireland; the film industry and this  Government’s ambitions under Global Ireland 2025; and additional restoration and development works across our built and natural heritage portfolios.

Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Joe McHugh TD, said:  “The €5 million increase which has been allocated in Budget 2019 for the Irish language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands will cement the success of Bliain na Gaeilge 2018 and build on the impetus that has grown around language planning over the course of the last year. 

“This significant increase on 2018 takes total spending on the Irish language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands to more than €67.5 million. With the commitments to new pier infrastructure and transport supports to Oileáin Árann and Toraigh in Project Ireland 2040 the increasing spending demonstrates the value that this Government places on our language, both within Gaeltacht areas and nationally.”

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