Home News Council Budget 2024: No love for the arts as funding remains stagnant

Budget 2024: No love for the arts as funding remains stagnant

Laois County Council this week unveiled their Budget for 2024, receiving unanimous praise from the elected members.

It was the first time in history that the Council had a Budget in excess of 100 million, with total funding coming in at €113,881,000.

Cllrs praised the great work done in terms of housing, roads, fire services and more. But there was one casualty.

The arts saw very little fluctuation in funding, with most areas remaining at or close to 2023 figures.

Funding for projects such as Music Generation Laois, Creative Ireland, and School of Music, as well as festivals and concerts, have remained static.

Arts Grants have seen a minor increase, going up from €6,000 to €8,000.

The Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaoise has seen it’s funding climb significantly from €135,000 to €170,000.

But despite both Council hierarchy and elected members being enamoured with the Mountmellick Arts Centre earlier in the year, there was no room in the budget for any kind of investment.

Speaking during the Ministerial visit to Laois in July, Mr John Mulholland, Chief Executive of Laois County Council, could not speak highly enough of the Mountmellick venue.

“If this building were in Vicar Street or the East End of London it would be packed every day,” Mr Mulholland said.

“There’s not many places around the country that have this.”

Similarly, there was no provisions made for any new art initiatives anywhere in the county.

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