€300k has been awarded to Galway City Council for two very exciting cross border collaborations that will directly support the arts and artists. This will be awarded under the Shared Island Local Authority Development Funding scheme.
Speaking at an event for the awards in the Townhall Theatre in Cavan, Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD said, “I am delighted to announce the 25 successful projects which have been awarded funding under the Shared Island Local Authority Funding Scheme. I am not only struck by the diverse range of projects which have come through the process, I am particularly pleased to see such a significant geographic spread across the island.”
Galway City Council’s first project, entitled Atlantic Region of Creative Content (ARCC), will test the feasibility of implementing virtual production studio workspaces located at key juncture points across the region. It will also examine and define the development of a north/south cluster, how it would work, how it would be ultimately facilitated and managed as well as the operations of the virtual production spaces.
The second project, entitled Culture Connects, will test the feasibility of a cross-border support programme for emerging cultural practitioners. Through its feasibility the project will explore previously untapped territories to develop a contemporary model of support and mobility for the sector as well as examining artist residency and co-working spaces.
The scheme enables Local Authorities to partner on a cross-border basis to bring new projects through feasibility or pre-planning stages. The two Galway projects will focus on the Culture and Creative Industries and are the first step in generating a pipeline of well-developed cross-border local authority projects.
The Shared Island chapter of the revised National Development Plan includes the commitment to “fully support the work of cross-border local authority partnerships and pursue opportunities for collaborative investment and working, in implementing the Shared Island NDP investment priorities.”
In December 2021, Taoiseach Micheál Martin set out priorities for the Shared Island initiative in 2022. One was that the Government would make available “shared Island development funding for local authorities to provide an impulse to initiate new joint investment projects that will link funding streams from North and South and better deliver regional development goals.”
Brendan McGrath, CEO of Galway City Council and Chairman of the Galway Culture Company stated, “culture and Creative Industries are part of the fabric of our city, and we are absolutely delighted that both of our applications have been successful. It’s the first step to generate a pipeline of well-developed cross-border local authority projects that will be in a position to secure funding for a construction or implementation stage from both jurisdictions, including through the Shared Island Fund. We established the Galway Culture Company to bring together key agencies and stakeholders to drive forward a collective creative vision for Galway through meaningful partnership and collaboration, and this is a really good example of how we will work and how we will deliver. We have well developed partnerships north and south and we are looking forward to delivering these projects with our partners.”
The Galway Culture Company which will go live in October, has been established to create opportunities to engage with EU partners and local place based programming which honours the relationships and builds on the learnings and outcomes of Galway’s Designation of European Capital of Culture.
Galway Culture Company will bring together key agencies and stakeholders to drive forward a collective creative vision for Galway through meaningful partnership and collaboration, these successful applications demonstrate our approach to work.
CEO of Derry Strabane Council John Kelpie stated that “Derry and Galway are delighted to be working together on this project and are very much looking forward to developing shared ways of working to grow our creative sector. We are delighted with the strategic partnership that is in place and really welcome the Shared Island initiative to allow us to grow and develop these projects.”
Culture Connects creates new knowledge capital through a nurturing collaboration between Galway City Council (GCC) and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council (ABC), in partnership with the Galway Culture Company, Atlantic Technical University (ATU) and Southern Regional College (SRC).
The CEO of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Roger Wilson stated, “we are delighted to partner with our colleagues in Galway City Council, developing a relationship that began during the recent UK City of Culture 2025 bidding process. Our Borough remains committed to recognising the power of culture to connect and to regenerate. Our authorities have much in common and we are looking forward to the cultural exchanges and engagements that will happen as part of this very significant programme.”
Speaking on behalf of ATU who are a key partner on both projects, Dr. Patrick Tobin, Head of School at the School of Design & Creative Arts stated, “these partnerships allow us to further support our vision of a truly creative west and working with our partners in Northern Ireland will greatly enrich our vision and our work. We are delighted to be involved in these significant partnerships and look forward to working with our colleagues on their implementation.”
Source: Galway City Council