Arts Council Funding Returns to 2011 Levels

Minister Heather Humphreys announcing the Arts Council increase, with Ministers Seán Kyne (left) and Michael Ring (right). 

Arts Council Funding Returns to 2011 Levels

National Concert Hall Receives Additional 250k.

The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys, has announced an increase of €5m in funding for the Arts Council as part of the 2017 Government Budget. 

This represents an 8% increase and brings the Council’s total budget for 2017 to €65.1, close to 2011 levels, when it received €65.2m. The last ten years of Arts Council funding can be seen below. 

2007: €83m
2008: €81.6m
2009: €73.4m
2010: €68.7m
2011: €65.2m
2012: €63.2m
2013: €59.9m
2014: €56.7m
2015: €56.9m
2016: €60.1m (€59.1m + €1m additional funding for 2016 commemorative programme)
2017: €65.1 

The National Concert Hall is also to receive an additional allocation of €250,000 as part of the Budget, which will bring its total for 2017 to €2.49m if its core funding remains the same as the 2016 figure of €2.24m.

Culture Ireland will receive an additional €1m to its core funding, bringing its total to €3.5m. This is €1.5m less than the 2016 amount because of additional funding provided then for the 1916 commemorative programme. See Culture Ireland’s funding over the past 10 years below.

2007: €4.5m
2008: €4.7m
2009: €4.5m
2010: €4m
2011: €4m
2012: €3.6m
2013: €3.2m
2014: €2.5m
2015: €2.5m
2016: €5m (€2.5m + €2.5m for the I Am Ireland programme of events)
2017: €3.5m 

Making the announcements, Minister Humphreys commented,

Through Budget 2017, I am determined to build on the positive legacy of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme by providing increases in funding to the key institutions and agencies under my remit which deliver arts and culture to people right across the country…. All of the measures to support art, culture and film re-affirm the commitment of this Government to progressively increase funding for the arts as the economy improves and also reflect the importance attached to promoting and supporting our artistic and cultural strengths, and supporting jobs in our creative industries.

Commenting on the Budget increase, Sheila Pratschke, Chair of the Arts Council, said,

This is a major vote of confidence by Government and the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in the Arts Council and in our new strategy, Making Great Art Work, which places the artist and public engagement in the arts at the heart of all we do … Our new strategy commits to supporting artists at all stages of their careers, from new generations of ambitious and innovative artists to artists who over many years have committed to producing work of high quality. This additional allocation will be used to support these artists across a range of schemes and projects.

The National Campaign for the Arts have issued a statement that welcomes the ‘modest uplift’ for cultural agencies, but argues that the overall arts funding has been cut by 16% because the additional resources applied last year for the 1916 commemoration have not been continued into this year.

NCFA Chairperson Jo Mangan said,

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….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… 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 details on the Government’s announcement, visit

Published on 11 October 2016

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