Arts & Culture Plan 2008

28th February 2008 by Maura McHugh

Last week the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Séamus Brennan T.D., announced the Arts and Culture Plan 2008.

It commits an additional €40m in funding for arts and culture infrastructure projects around Ireland, restores the Heritage Fund for the acquisition of works of artistic and cultural significance, extends and allows more flexible opening hours at national museums, cultural venues, galleries and libraries, and doubles the funding for national touring programmes to bring drama and cultural events to a wider audience.

Another initiative that will be the launched is a new National Cultural Day, which will begin in 2009, during which admission prices will be removed or reduced for events at publicly funded organisations.

The Department will also examine ways “to develop and expand the Irish film industry to be assessed as part of the renewal and enhancement of the Section 481 Tax Relief scheme, which in 2007 was worth €36 million in investment to the industry.”

Minister Brennan said that investment of this scale of taxpayers money must have as a priority increasing access to arts, culture and creativity for many more of our people, regardless of age, background or nationality.

“The challenge for all of us is to build on the progress that has been made in this area and to identify new and imaginative routes that will open up more and more opportunities to involve those who, for whatever reason, may feel excluded”, the Minister said.

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