LIMERICK’S stint as national City of Culture in 2014 has received funding to the tune of €6 million in today’s Budget.
Finance minister Michael Noonan said he was “very pleased to announce that €6 million funding has been provided to the Limerick City of Culture 2014 project”.
“Limerick city was chosen as Ireland’s first ever City of Culture and I am sure that the project will be a resounding success,” he explained.
“The Limerick City of Culture 2014, together with my decision to reduce VAT to 9% in the tourism and hospitality sector and to reduce the air travel tax to €0 will attract thousands of new visitors to the city.
“I would like to wish all involved with the City of Culture project every success over the next year and I look forward to attending many of the events in 2014.”
The announcement draws to a close months of speculation about funding for the project, which was announced by arts minister Jimmy Deenihan in July 2012.
Pat Cox, chairman of the board of Limerick City of Culture, said this Tuesday that he wished to “acknowledge and thank the government for their allocation of €6 million in this year’s budget”.
“This significant announcement paves the way for the animation of Ireland’s first National City of Culture,” he explained.
“For Limerick, 2014 offers a unique opportunity for the City and County. Not only will Limerick receive its usual funding under Arts Council initiatives but will also benefit from this year’s budget to an extent that finds no parallel in its cultural history to date.
“On November 4, we will launch a vibrant, dynamic, family friendly programme that we hope will capture the imagination of an international, national and local audience. We look forward to Limerick becoming the Stage for Culture in Ireland in 2014.”
The culture team tasked with organising Limerick’s stint as city of culture had invited groups to apply for “funding opportunities” before a September 30 deadline recently.
As part of the project, Limerick City Council also purchased the Georgian House in Pery Square from Limerick’s Civic Trust, to provide a “cultural HQ” for the 12 month project.
More to follow on this announcement in our print editions and online.