26 Jun 2022

Creative funding welcomed in Offaly after 'illuminating' project success

Creative funding welcomed in Offaly after 'illuminating' project success

Creative funding welcomed in Offaly after 'illuminating' project success

Funding of €6.6 million has been announced for the 2022 Creative Ireland Programme Creative Communities initiative, including €175,161 in Offaly.

The announcement was made by Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, and the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’ Brien TD.

This partnership between the departments and all 31 local authorities is being enabled through the Creative Ireland Programme. It will offer thousands of opportunities across Ireland for people of all ages to engage with creative projects in their local area.

In 2021, this enabled local authorities to deliver nearly 1,500 community-led creative projects. This funding has proved to be an important flexible resource that has enabled local authorities to sustain and develop vibrant creative communities.

This funding includes planning for an enhanced Cruinniú na nÓg - Ireland’s national day celebrating young people’s creativity in June 2022. There will be projects around Creativity in Older Age with opportunities for older people to participate in creative activities. Finally, Creative Climate Action projects in partnership with Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications will use the talents of artists and the wider creative industries to connect people with profound changes happening in our environment, society and economy arising from climate change.

The ambition of the Creative Ireland Programme is to mainstream creativity in the life of the nation.  Participation in cultural and creative activity promotes individual, community and national wellbeing.

Since the programme was launched in 2017, there has been an investment of €21 million from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, in Creative Ireland initiatives undertaken by local authorities.

Welcoming the news, Offaly Minister Pippa Hackett commented: "Birr is a shining example of how funding from the Creative Ireland can be put to good use. Its ‘Lighting Up the Night’ project was a beautifully lit-up trail highlighting its Georgian buildings and illuminated windows.

"I’m delighted to see Offaly receiving €175,161 through the Creative Communities Scheme this year, following an announcement by my colleague Arts Minister Catherine Martin.”

 Minister Martin said: “I am delighted to continue to support the excellent work undertaken by local authorities on behalf of the Creative Ireland Programme. Since the inception of Creative Ireland our partners in local government have been key to the delivery of creative projects that promote an improved sense of wellbeing, social connections and economic development within their communities. Through these projects local authorities have been able to create exciting and constructive opportunities for people and communities. I want to congratulate our local authority partners for their energy and creativity in delivering so many wonderful projects that sustain and enhance the lives of everyone in their communities.”

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, added: “Local authorities have extensive expertise across heritage, arts, libraries as well as vital local relationships. I firmly believe that culture plays a key role in local government’s work in creating great places to live and work. Creative Communities takes this a step further. Culture and creativity can be part of responses to social isolation, to creating a sense of place and to integrating new communities.”

 Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke, TD, said: “Our Local Authorities are the closest arm of the State to our citizens and are well placed to engage directly with local artists and community groups.  Through the PPN and other statutory committees and vehicles, they are linked in with our older people, members of the traveller community, community and voluntary groups and key stakeholders in every locality in the country. This scheme is wide reaching, and as a Government we want all members of society to have equal access cultural and creative opportunities.”


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