Public funding for culture has increased from 2005-2011 (up 13% in 2011 alone) possibly due to a new approach following EU membership.
6.1 Short overview
A major share of cultural funding in Malta is distributed directly by government, either through the financing of its cultural agencies or else in direct capital projects, and increasingly through a number of funds addressing support for individuals and organisations in the cultural sector. As an overview, expenditure includes management and restoration of historical monuments and sites, national cultural institutions, archives, libraries, festivals, literature, film, public broadcasting, cultural expenditure by local councils, funding for events / projects and scholarships. The main budget is redistributed by arm's length bodies such as Heritage Malta, the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts, Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti, Manoel Theatre Management Committee, National Orchestra, St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, and the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage. Additionally, another source of funding for public expenditure is the EU structural funds which locally have been mainly directed to capital projects for cultural heritage. Additional culture-related investment by the private sector has also been assisted through schemes targeting business development and tourism. The figures in the sections below account for the government's contribution to co-funding of EU funded projects only in the case of structural funds used for restoration, as these are the relatively substantial amount (EUR 1.15 million of the government's contribution in 2011).
In 2011 public cultural expenditure stood at EUR 26.45 million (Figures for the year 2011 in chapter 6 are "Approved Estimates" for the year as confirmed on November 2011.). Total public expenditure in culture and the arts has been on an upward trend in the period between 2007 and 2011, after increasing considerably in 2005, possibly reflecting a different approach to the sector following EU membership. 2008 marked the reversal of a downward trend from 2005 to 2007, due mainly to a downward variation of expenditure in capital restoration projects (off-setting an increased level of EU funding for such projects during the same years).<-->