Archive for April 15th, 2009

Budget Guesses

15th April 2009 by Maura McHugh

According to the Irish Times this weekend the figures for any cuts in Arts funding due to the recent emergency budget won’t be available until after April 21st, although there are indications of how it is expected to break down.

It is understood that the detail of the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism’s budget has already been decided, although its statement this week just confirmed that overall expenditure in the arts, culture and film sector “has reduced by €41m from €221m in 2008 to €180m in 2009, a reduction of 18.5 per cent” (It had been reduced to €184.5m in the October budget, so this is a further cut). The cut in current expenditure, the statement said, has been 6 per cent, and in capital expenditure 42 per cent, “owing primarily to the completion of once-off major capital projects such as the Wexford Festival Opera House and the Gate Theatre extension”.

It’s not all bad news, however.

The Irish Film Board’s budget for this year is expected to increase by 7 per cent (up to close to €22m) on the figures from October, which is a reflection of an increase in the number of big film projects in the pipeline (and some of which have already started), which are bringing inward investment with them, on the basis of Section 481. There won’t be a new Access capital funding programme, but projects already started, such as storage facilities for the National Museum and at Imma will be completed, and capital projects worth over €75m will be honoured.