Local government report

Local authorities roll out Culture and Creative Strategies

All 31 local authorities have committed to the rollout of new Local Authority Creative Ireland Culture and Creative Strategies for the period 2023-2027, with “a greater focus on health and wellbeing, creative industries, climate action, the development of the Irish language, and social sustainability”.

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media Catherine Martin TD and Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning Kieran O’Donnell TD announced the 31 new strategies at an event at Farmleigh in Phoenix Park.

These new strategies will “reflect the creative ambitions of communities around the country” and be supported by the Creative Ireland Programme 2023-2027. The Creative Ireland Programme was established as a legacy initiative following the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, its extension to 2027 was announced by Martin in February 2022. The all-of-government culture and wellbeing programme is said to be “the only programme of its kind in the world”.

Creative Ireland has stated that the new strategies being formulated will place “a greater focus on health and wellbeing, creative industries, climate action, the development of the Irish language, and social sustainability”, with priority also to be given to develop creative opportunities for marginalised communities and those at risk of disadvantage.
In 2017, the Creative Ireland Programme outlined a commitment to “provide everyone in Ireland the opportunity to realise their full creative potential”, requiring each local authority to devise a culture and creativity strategy that was specifically developed to meet the needs of their communities. These strategies were devised by culture and creativity teams that included arts officers, heritage officers, librarians, museums, and gallery curators and led by local Creative Ireland coordinators.

From 2017-2022, Creative Ireland allocated €29.8 million to the local authority initiatives formulated under the original strategy, with a further €6.1 million announced in 2023 for the Creative Ireland Programme Creative Communities initiative.

Commenting on the announcement of the rollout of the new Culture and Creative Strategies, Minister Martin said: “The agility of the local authority teams has facilitated a collaborative and flexible approach to reshaping how creativity and culture is valued within and across local authorities. Through the Creative Ireland Programme, my department will continue to work with collaborators across Government to activate the power of creativity in every community.”

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