Budget 2025

The Arts Council is seeking an increase in Arts Council funding to €160 million in Budget 2025.

The Arts Council is seeking an increase in Arts Council funding to €160 million in Budget 2025.

Statement from the Arts Council:

In 2024, the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, supported by government, is spending €134m to develop the arts in Ireland.

There has been unprecedented government investment in the arts in Ireland in recent years.

This has allowed the Arts Council to increase investment across all grant categories and to invest in areas of strategic priority such as:

  • individual artists
  • young people
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
  • places and spaces

Further infrastructural support is now required to provide focused support, in the context of some significant pressure points.

This will deliver the best return on the government’s investment to date, and help to maximise opportunities for artists and audiences.

The evidence:

  • Record demand for Arts Council supports
  • Record gap in proportion of funding requests met
  • Escalating costs for artists and arts orgs


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The total eligible funding requests from the Arts Council in 2023 was €231.3 million, up from €93.9 million in 2019. This represents an unprecedented level of demand for Arts Council supports.

Funding gap

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Due to the unprecedented level of demand, there is a record gap between the number of requests for funding that we receive and that we can meet. In 2019, we were able to fund 61% of eligible funding requests but, in 2023, we were able to fund just 51% of eligible funding requests.

Escalating costs

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Inflation rates have been high. In fact, considering inflation, Arts Council funding has gone down since 2021. Our funding would need to be at €153.2m* currently to meet 2021 levels in real terms. This is without meeting any additional requests.

As increases in funding levels are not keeping pace with inflation, this is leading to increased pressure on funded organisations and artists to meet overheads and other costs.

In addition, our annual Arts Insight research shows that paying audiences are not yet back to pre-Covid levels, creating further income uncertainty.

*Ref. Crowe Report, Arts Council 2024

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