FUNDING will be available for Limerickâ€™s stint as the first Irish City of Culture in 2014, Minister Jimmy Deenihan has said.
Responding to questions from this newspaper, the arts minister has also declared that an announcement of the appointment of a person to lead the Limerick City of Culture initiative â€œwill be made shortlyâ€.
Asked about the financing of the year of cultural events, Mr Deenihan responded: â€œIt is anticipated that some financial allocation will be made for the initiative, but this will be subject to the allocation made to the Department in the upcoming budget and a formal decision cannot be made on that matter until that allocation is knownâ€.
The new manager appointed to head-up the amalgamated local authorities, Conn Murray, is currently putting together a committee to oversee the project, while a â€œmajor figureâ€ is expected to be unveiled to head up the board in the near future.
Disquiet in local arts circles has been circulating for some time at the seeming lack of progress on putting the structure for the City of Culture initiative in place since it was launched in July.
However, Kieran Lehane, director of director of service with responsibility for arts, culture and sport, said the manager was â€œtalking to a number of people in order to put a strong committee togetherâ€.
â€œWe are also working on funding the programme in conjunction with Government,â€ explained Mr Lehane this Monday, while declining to reveal who Mr Murray was targeting to head up the project due to the â€œsensitivityâ€ of the discussions.
The cultural designation will be modelled on Derryâ€™s stint as UK City of Culture in 2013 and Minister Deenihan has previously said it will â€œbrand the city in a very positive wayâ€.