The cost of the arts and keeping an arts centre running was laid out for the members of Castlebar Town Council on Tuesday night. Marie Farrell from the Linenhall Arts Centre, gave the members a presentation on the work carried out by the centre over the past 12 months and funding it receives both nationally and locally.
Farrell outlined that the Linenhall is the sixth highest funded venue from the arts council nationally, receiving €255,000 last year. That funding is expected to go down to around the €205,000 mark which would be below the 2002 level.
But when that is combined with funding from local authorities, the Linenhall drops down to 19th in the list, receiving only €40,000 in funding from local authorities. The Roscommon Arts Centre received €331,000 in funding from its local authorities last year.
Farrell explained that the Arts Council was trying to put the onus on local authorities to fund the arts centre in the future. “The Linenhall is being punished because of the lack of local authority funding, we have cut as much as we possibly can to protect employment, but we won’t be able to cut any more.”
The members of the council had previously agreed to have a budgeted funding of €40,000 included in the draft estimates for 2012, but they all agreed that more would have to be done to secure the future of the centre in the town and that Mayo County Council would have to play a bigger role.