The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht oversees the protection and presentation of Ireland’s heritage and cultural assets. Our goals are to promote and protect Ireland’s heritage and culture, to advance the use of the Irish language, and to support the sustainable development of the islands.

The Department funds a number of State Bodies and Agencies with responsibilities relating to various aspects of the Department’s remit and works with these bodies and agencies to ensure a co-ordinated approach to fulfilling the Department’s mandate.
The Department is also a co-sponsor of two of the six cross-border implementation bodies established under the terms of the British-Irish Agreement Act 1999.

The Department has a gross voted allocation of almost €383m. in 2016. There are over 500 staff employed in the Department and 1,000 in the State Bodies operating under its aegis.


Culture 2025 – Éire Ildánach

The document sets out an overarching vision and framework for the future and outlines the priorities for action over the coming years. Through this Framework Policy, the Government seeks to nurture creativity, boost citizen participation, help more people to follow a sustainable career in the cultural sector, promote Ireland’s cultural wealth and ensure a cultural contribution to wider social and economic goals.

The arts have always been an integral part of Irish life. It is the objective of this Department to provide an appropriate resource, policy and legislative framework to support the stimulation and development of the Arts in Ireland, such that economic returns and employment, and access to and participation in the arts by all sections of Irish society, are maximised.

This Department works closely with the Arts Council and the Irish Film Board to secure the implementation of appropriate and effective strategies for the arts in partnership with the artistic community and film industry. Culture Ireland is the body charged with the promotion of Irish Arts and Artists abroad.

Work in relation to the arts is carried out by four distinct units in the Department.

Arts Unit

It is the objective of the Department to provide an appropriate resource, policy and legislative framework to support the stimulation and development of the Arts in Ireland.

Government funding for the arts is generally channelled through the Arts Council, which, although funded by this Department, is completely independent in its funding allocations and the Minister has no role to play in its funding or executive decisions. The Arts Act 2003 underpins the Council’s independence in this context.

For further information, contact:
Arts Unit,
Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs,
New Road, Killarney, Co. Kerry
Tel: +353  (0)64 6627334
Fax: +353 (0)64 6627350

Film Unit

It is the policy of the Department to develop and expand Irish film production in a way that maximises the return to our economy, including employment, and expresses our cultural identity through the medium of film.

For further information, contact:
Film Unit,
Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs,
New Road, Killarney Co Kerry.
Tel: +353 (0)64 6627214
Fax: +353 (0)64 6627350

Music Unit

The Business Expansion Scheme for Music gives tax relief to investors in new and emerging commercial musical acts or groups.

Culture Ireland

Culture Ireland is the division of the Department responsible for the promotion of the arts and artists overseas. Culture Ireland creates and supports opportunities for Irish artists and companies to present their work at strategic international showcases, festivals, venues and arts markets and support artists right across the creative spectrum including visual art, theatre, literature, music, dance, opera and film.

Further information on Culture Ireland and its grant programme is available on




The Arts Council


The Arts Council is an autonomous body, under the aegis of the Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. It is the national agency for the promotion and development of the arts in Ireland. It was established in 1951, to stimulate public interest in, and promote the knowledge, appreciation and practice of, the arts. The Arts Council is a voluntary body of 12 members and a chair, appointed by the Minister for Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs for a period of five years.

The ongoing work of the Arts Council is delivered by the Executive. In addition to the Director, a staff of 48 full-time equivalents carries out the daily functions of the organisation.

The Arts Council can be contacted at:
70 Merrion Square,
Dublin 2.
phone: 01-6180200,
fax: 01-6761302,


Bord Scannán na hÉireann/The Irish Film Board


Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board was re-established in 1993 and it has played a crucial role in the development of the indigenous film industry as well as raising public awareness of the social, cultural and economic benefits of film-making in Ireland.

The primary function of the Board is to provide development and production finance for Irish film projects. Development loans are given to provide resources to allow a project to be brought from the drawing board to the stage of being a properly researched and developed project ready to be taken to the production stage. Production loans contribute towards the actual cost of producing a finished film or documentary project.

By providing these loans the Board is providing the opportunities needed by emerging Irish talent and, through schemes such as “Short Cuts”, has launched the careers of quite a number of young Irish film makers. The Board also supports more established companies in producing culturally Irish films which have significant commercial prospects.

The Board also provides, under its capital provision, funds for film training, carried out on behalf of the Board by the National Training Committee for Film and Television established under Fás legislation, known as Screen Training Ireland.


The Irish Film Board receives capital and administrative funding from the Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. The capital grant covers development and production loans and training.

Cultural Institutions


The Cultural Institutions Unit of the Department seeks to create an environment enabling the National Cultural Institutions to flourish through the provision of financial resources and an appropriate policy framework.


The National Cultural Institutions are:

National Archives of Ireland, Bishop Street, Dublin 8
National Library of Ireland , Kildare Street, Dublin 2
National Museum of Ireland includes:
The National Gallery of Ireland Merrion Square West, Dublin 2
Chester Beatty Library Dublin Castle, Dublin 2
The Irish Museum of Modern Art Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin 8
The National Concert Hall Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2
The Crawford Art Gallery Cork Emmet Place, Cork

Issues relating to the day-to-day management of the individual National Cultural Institutions are dealt with directly by the institutions themselves; matters relating to the general policy under which they operate and the provision of financial resources are matters for this Department.

Support & Funding Schemes

Capital Support Schemes and funding for Arts and Culture organisations

The Cultural Infrastructure and Development Subhead of the Department focuses on providing capital grant funding to various arts and cultural facilities. Funding is administered through applications received for specific Grant Schemes and ad hoc grant funding requests received.

The main beneficiaries of this grant funding are:

  • the National Cultural Institutions; awarded grants for undertaking construction/equipment upgrading projects and obtaining art acquisitions;
  • other arts and culture organisations awarded funding via grant schemes and on an ad hoc application basis;
  • the Music Capital Scheme operated by Music Network[1];
  • an annual capital grant to the Abbey Theatre.

[1] The Music Capital Scheme, supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and managed by Music Network, provides funding for the purchase of musical instruments to both non-professional performing groups/ensembles and professional musicians. Music Network is Ireland’s national music touring and development agency, and was founded in 1986 by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.

Capital Schemes currently available

A list of Previous Schemes ran by the Department and the successful grantees are available at



The Department of Culture Art and Leisure


As the lead Department for arts and creativity, the Department provides funding for the arts in Northern Ireland, sets arts policy and supports arts based initiatives. It is also the government lead for the creative industries. In addition, the Department provides guidance and direction on matters of Architecture and the Built Environment through its Ministerial Advisory Group.


Arts Council NI:

The Department fund Arts Council NI to develop the arts in Northern Ireland


Arts Council Strategy 2013-2018: Entitled Ambitions for the Arts, it aims to place the arts at the heart of social, economic and creative life in the north of Ireland.


Creative learning centres


If you are cultural organisation supporting migrant-diverse artists and would like to be included on our list, please contact us at