IN A BID to promote cultural tourism in Ireland, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has announced up to €300,000 in funding available for regional museum development projects for 2013.
The significant expansion in funding for the Local and Regional Museums Scheme – which is designed to support small and medium museums across the country – will benefit suitably-qualified museum development projects, Jimmy Deenihan said.
Last year, a total of €57,000 was awarded in development support to small and medium museums across the country, meaning the increase in funding will likely see many more taking part in the scheme this year.
Deenihan said that projects funded under the Scheme should seek to make a contribution to the development and promotion of Ireland’s cultural tourism offering, to both domestic and foreign tourists. Projects should also encourage an general increase in the use of local and regional museums.
“Museums make a huge contribution to local communities, to tourism, to historical groups, and to our understanding of who we are and where we have come from,” said Deenihan. “The network of small and medium museums that are found across the country are a rich repository of local knowledge, and guide us in understanding different strands of our political, social and economic history.”
“By assisting our regional museums, I believe we help all people – both citizens and tourists – to understand and appreciate the complexity of our national narrative.”
Last year, the Allihies Copper Museum, the Irish Jewish Museum, Rothe House and Garden, the Dundalk County Museum and the Waterford Museum of Treasures.
Funding may only be awarded to projects which meet certain criteria; details of the newly expanded scheme are available on the Department’s website.