National Gallery interior

€1.2bn investment in culture, language and heritage unveiled at special forum

10 April 2018
3 min read

Details of a capital investment plan in our culture, language and heritage have been announced at a special forum held in the National Gallery of Ireland.

The ten-year plan, 'Investing in our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018 - 2027' sets out the Government's commitment to a €1.2 billion capital investment which aims to underpin the aspirations for our culture and creativity with solid infrastructural foundations.

In line with the Creative Ireland Programme, the new plan recognises the importance of high quality infrastructure in fostering vibrant culture and heritage sectors. It also recognises that investment in our cultural heritage underpins real social cohesion and supports strong, sustainable economic growth.

‘Investing in Our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018 – 2027’ details the high-level, strategic investment priorities for the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht for the next decade, identifying four investment priorities:

  • National Cultural Institutions Investment Programme – €460 million
  • Culture and Creativity investment programme – €265 million
  • Heritage Investment Programme – €285 million
  • Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands – €178 million

This comprehensive plan will help promote and celebrate Ireland as a centre of culture and creativity, a place of rich natural and built heritage and the home of one of Europe’s oldest and richest languages.

Joseph Walshe sculpture

Speaking at today’s forum, An Taoiseach said: “This investment plan is about much more than cultural institutions, biodiversity and collections. It challenges all of us to think about the meaning of culture and heritage in the 21st century. It requires us to think about how we provide a heritage and culture landscape which responds to the needs of our communities, aligning with all of our existing resources, to complete an ecosystem that is accessible, welcoming, responsive, dynamic and deeply embedded in our society.”

Also speaking at the event, Minister Josepha Madigan said: “This level of investment will transform our cultural and heritage infrastructure. It is also an important statement for this and future generations: our culture, heritage and language are fundamental to all of our lives.  They affect our education, our public buildings and public spaces. They impact the relationship between the citizen and the State, and the relationship of citizens to each other.”

Just some of the plan’s investment includes:

  • €460 million investment in National Cultural Institutions such as the National Gallery of Ireland, Chester Beatty Library, National Museum of Ireland, Crawford Art Gallery, the National Archives and many more.
  • €10 million national digitisation investment programme will see all national collections digitised over the course of the plan supporting the conservation, preservation and dissemination of the national collections.
  • €50 million investment in our National Parks, this includes developing and implementing a masterplan for the development of National Parks and Nature Reserves including enhanced visitor facilities for the 4 million visitors to the parks annually e.g. new trails at Ballycroy National Park, outdoor recreational facilities in Killarney National Park, improved visitor facilities at Connemara and Glenveagh National Parks, improved interpretation at Coole Park.
  • €33 million investment in actions to support the Gaeltacht Language Planning Process. Priority projects will include upgrading Irish Summer College Campuses benefitting 26,000 students annually, providing number of language support and childcare facilities in Gaeltacht Language Planning areas and the construction of new co-operative offices and communities facilities on Inis Meáin in the Aran Islands.
  • €30 million investment programme in national monument sites at Brú na Bóinne, Tara, Céide Fields, Clonmacnoise, Skellig Michael, Valentia Cable Station and the Rock of Cashel among others.

Minister Madigan was joined at the launch by Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., and Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Joe McHugh T.D.

Read the plan 'Investing in our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018 - 2027' in full here.