AUDITED accounts for Limerick’s stint as National City of Culture in 2014 show the local authority supplied staffing worth more than €800,000 to the year long programme.
Operating expenses for the company Limerick National City of Culture 2014 Limited for the financial period from the date of the company’s incorporation to December 31, 2014 amount to €10,082,415.
That figure was made up of national and local authority grants worth €8.089,777, sponsorship worth €1,240,791 and box office takings of €751,847.
As the company did not have any direct employees during the period, operational assistance and services were provided “on a voluntary basis” by Limerick City and County Council to the tune of €831,062.
As of December 31, the company had €185,742 in the bank, with debtors amounting to €158,329 and creditors at €343,971.
The accounts were audited by Deloitte, who donated their services in the amount of €10,000 for carrying out the independent report, which was received on September 28 by the Companies Registration Office.
In a note accompanying the accounts, City of Culture director Mike Fitzpatrick says that the “unique and original event for Ireland” was “seismic, transformative and far-reaching” in its effect on Limerick.
He explained that City of Culture achieved “an audience of 1.8m with over 3,000 events. The initial funding of €6m almost doubled in production value. It achieved exceptional individual and corporate support in funding and in-kind support. It generated over 5,000 articles at an estimated value (of) €13m in media coverage. The economic report by Grant Thornton has indicated an economic value of the project to be €44m”.
Mr Fitzpatrick, now spearheading Limerick’s bid for European Capital of Culture in 2020, acknowledges that the start of the year of culture was “fraught with difficulties” but argues that the “longer-term positive impact is the tremendous legacy for Limerick.
“The people and all sectors of Limerick have benefited from this legacy. Limerick’s ambition for social and physical regeneration and economic are much more tangible now.
“The project has demonstrated the power of culture to create real and tangible change,” he added.
Directors involved in the company included Limerick council chief Conn Murray, businessman Brian McEnery, Lime Tree boss Louise Donlon, former European Parliament president Pat Cox, rugby star Paul O’Connell and Riverdance composer Bill Whelan. None were paid for their services to City of Culture.