Arts Council plans to increase workforce by up to 40% this year

The council’s funding of €50.5 million for 2023 is being distributed to 107 organisations across the country

The Arts Council is planning to increase its workforce by up to 40 per cent this year. The agency, which has 70 employees, says that subject to business needs and continued approval of its workforce plan by Government, “we are aiming to have a headcount of close to 100 in the foreseeable future”.

The council is holding open competitions for four roles, including an ICT service delivery manager and a traditional arts assistant. Last year it advertised almost 20 vacancies, including senior positions such as communications director, human resources director, and digital marketing manager.

Five heads of team were advertised – for circus street art and spectacle, multidisciplinary arts, content, insight and public engagement, and collection. The ad for head of content said it was a new role that had been identified “as part of our ongoing business transformation programme to streamline and simplify our funding processes”.

Other vacancies that were posted included policy officer, programme delivery manager, safeguarding officer and theatre assistant.


There were three roles in the area of circus – for a circus street art and spectacle officer and an assistant, as well as a head of the team.

The major funder of the arts in Ireland, the council’s grant from the exchequer for 2023 is €130 million, the third year in a row it has been allocated this amount. In Budget 2020, just before the pandemic, it was allocated €80 million.

Last Wednesday the Arts Council announced its strategic funding for 2023, with funding totalling €50.5 million being distributed to 107 organisations across the country. Among the biggest beneficiaries were the Abbey Theatre, which was allocated €8 million, Irish National Opera (€5 million), the Gate Theatre in Dublin (€2.5 million), Wexford Festival Opera (€1.6 million) and the Irish Chamber Orchestra (€1.24 million).

The other recipients of seven-figure sums were the Irish Film Institute (€1.1 million), the Dublin Theatre Festival (€1.125 million) and the Druid Theatre Company (€1 million).

Making the announcement Maureen Kennelly, director of the Arts Council, said: “These decisions will enable people of all ages and from all backgrounds to experience the very best of the arts. Following significantly increased investment in recent years, these funding commitments will consolidate the position of these critically important organisations.”

In his statement Prof Kevin Rafter, chairman of the Arts Council, said: “The council’s €130 million budget in 2023 will be spent on developing the role of the artist and increasing public engagement with the arts. The latest strategic funding decisions will allow people all over the country to experience great art throughout 2023.”