Thursday, 16 November 2006
Dáil Eireann Debate
123. Mr. Bruton asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the amount of moneys from his Department or from agencies under the control of his Department which are made available to local community based art groups to promote wider participation in the arts; the priority within budgets being given to measures to promote community participation compared to moneys to promote elite performance; and if he will make a statement on the potential for new policy instruments to support community participation. [38255/06]
Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism (Mr. O’Donoghue): The main vehicle for capital funding through my Department is the Arts & Culture Capital Enhancement Support Scheme, ACCESS. Under the first ACCESS scheme, introduced in 2001, €45.7 million was allocated for the development of 44 arts and cultural facilities around the country. The increase in the availability of facilities and the enhancement in their quality have greatly increased access to and participation in the arts for a great many people.
In July last I announced a new capital funding scheme — ACCESS II. This new scheme will provide grant aid towards the development of arts and culture infrastructure around the country over the years 2007-2009. The scheme is intended to provide a further impetus to the development of arts and culture facilities, thereby enhancing the quality of life for our citizens. Eligible facilities will include integrated arts centres, theatres and galleries, as well as arts studios and creative and performance spaces. While the intention is to prioritise the enhancement and maintenance of existing facilities, there will also be provision under the terms of the scheme to support new build projects. Applications for ACCESS II are being accepted until 17 November 2006.
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