Funding of €50m for entertainment sector to help ‘keep doors open’

Grants to compensate for 50 per cent audiences, cancellations and rescheduled events

The €50 million fund includes €2.5 million for seasonal events such as pantomimes. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The €50 million fund includes €2.5 million for seasonal events such as pantomimes. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Minister for Arts and Culture Catherine Martin has described new grants for the live entertainment sector as an effort “to keep the doors open”.

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s News at One, Ms Martin said that she understood that the 50 per cent capacity rule, brought in to slow the spread of Covid-19, was not viable for the sector, which was why the new grants would be available from Friday, December 17th.

The €50 million fund includes €2.5 million for seasonal events such as pantomimes, €5 million for “town hall performances” which will be disbursed through local authorities and €34 million in the form of a live performance support scheme for events that have had to be cancelled, scaled back or rescheduled, she explained.

The Minister said that the main grant would cover half of the costs for events that have to be cancelled or rescheduled.

The sector had shouldered “a very heavy burden”, a fact of which she was acutely aware. “That’s not where we want to be. These schemes will help keep the doors open,” she said.

“We’re stepping in to help. We will provide grants of up to 50 per cent towards costs.” Ms Martin added that 60 per cent of the grants would be prepaid once it was determined that the event qualified.

The Minister said her “absolute focus” was keeping performers on stage.

It was important to provide certainty for the sector and for the people it employed, she said, adding that there would be a further €14 million from February to June so that events could go ahead.