Minister Martin Announces €6 Million in Funding to Deliver Artist Workspaces Nationwide

 Pilot Scheme in collaboration with Local Authorities to increase the stock of artist workspaces in cities and towns across Ireland

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., has today announced details of a new pilot scheme that will enable Local Authorities to increase the provision of Artist Workspaces across Ireland.

Research conducted by this Department, and ongoing engagement with the creative and night-time economy sectors, over the last number of years has revealed demand for artist workspaces far outweighs supply and that there is a widespread shortage of creative spaces such as studios and performance spaces.

The Department recognises that Local Authorities are instrumental in delivering the infrastructure necessary to provide a number of artists´ workspaces nationwide. Almost half of all Visual Artists’ Workspace buildings (43%) are owned by Local Authorities. In view of this the Department engaged with a number of Local Authorities ahead of developing this scheme.

The Local Authority arts offices also play a crucial role in the growth, promotion and sustainability of the arts in Ireland including support to artists through grants, residencies and career development in their respective areas.

This €6 million funding is in line with the Government’s commitment under The Programme for Government to increase the provision of affordable workspaces for artists and creative practitioners and ensure the timely delivery of arts and culture capital investment commitments, as outlined in Project Ireland 2040.

Speaking while visiting a recently developed artist workspace at Artane Place, Minister Martin commented:

“As Minister for the Arts, I have been acutely aware of the pressures that artists and creatives, including those in the electronic music sector, have faced in finding suitable workspaces and that is why I made a commitment to provide capital funding towards the provision of artist workspaces. Much of our cultural infrastructure is initiated by our local authorities and they have been a crucial resource in the delivery of arts and culture interventions over many decades. In 2023 my Department provided €3million to Dublin City Council for ‘Space to Create’ which will see the development of sixty artist workspaces in Dublin City. Today’s launch will now address the shortage of workspaces in the rest of the country.”

Coilín O’Reilly, Chair of the CCMA RCCH Committee and Chief Executive of Carlow County Council, said:

“The ‘Artists Workspaces Scheme’ is a welcome addition to the toolbox Local Authorities can use to address the issues of vacancy and dereliction, as well as adding vibrancy, activation and colour to our towns and villages. With 40% matched funding from Local Authorities, this scheme represents a partnership that can transform the arts at a local level.”

Features of the Pilot Artist Workspaces scheme include:

• Local Authorities are invited to propose capital projects for Artist workspaces which are fit for purpose, design focused, accessible and affordable.

• Funding will be made available for projects that focus on the delivery of infrastructure to increase availability and access to Artist Workspaces.

• Funding of €6 million is being provided by the Department and each Local Authority can apply for up to €150,000/€300,000 (depending on their location) for a single project under the scheme and would itself provide match funding of 40%. This match funding will bring the overall value of the scheme to €10 million.

• Capital grants up to a maximum of €300,000 will be made available to the following densely populated Local Authority areas should they apply; Cork City Council, Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council, Fingal County Council, Galway City Council, Limerick City and County Council, Louth County Council, South Dublin County Council, Waterford City and County Council;

• Capital grants up to a maximum of €150,000 will be made available to the remaining Local Authorities.

Applications are now being accepted from today and further information can be found at the following link

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