Speaking in the Dáil yesterday Minister for Arts, Heritage and The Gealtacht announced that the department would receive €266.997m from this year’s budget. In his speech he emphasised the Department’s focus on protecting jobs in the Arts sector and stimulating tourism with our arts, culture and film programmes in Ireland.
Nearly 50,000 people are employed in the arts sector across Ireland. As such the Minister announced he would be allocating nearly half his year budget to programmes in these areas. The department stated this would hugely complement the significant investment in arts infrastructure already in place.
The Arts Council, for instance, which supports such projects as the Irish Film Institute in Temple Bar Dublin, The Galway Film Centre and The Darklight Film Festival, is to be allocated €63m in the coming year. Minister Deenihan said “My intention is to facilitate the Council to maintain its support to over 50 venues, approximately 200 festivals and 400 arts organisations. In this way, the Council will support employment in communities across the country, both directly through funding artists and organisations and indirectly in the tourism sector and the wider economy.”
The capital budget for the Irish Film Board, which was announced on Monday, shows a decrease from €16m to €13.1m. It did however receive a modest increase to its administration budget of 4% or €2.54m. The Minister said that although funding for arts, culture and film areas had been scaled back in recent times in line with the Public Capital Programme “It is important to remember”, he said, “that for every €1 of IFB investment close to €10 is generated in the economy.”
Speaking on the budget IFB Chairman James Morris said, "The Irish Film Board is deeply committed to ensuring that the Irish film, television and animation industries continue to make a significant creative and economic contribution to the Irish economy, delivering a strong return to the exchequer and continuing to create new jobs.”