Thursday, 12 December 2019

Questions (40)

Joan Burton


40. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the progress to date on the transfer of the National Symphony Orchestra to the remit of the National Concert Hall; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [52065/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

Following the publication of the report by RTÉ that it commissioned from independent consultants Helen Boaden and Mediatique on the RTÉ Orchestras entitled RTÉ Orchestras Ensuring a Sustainable Future, the Government agreed in principle that the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) should come within the remit of the National Concert Hall (NCH), and authorised the initiation of discussions on the implementation of the recommendations of the report.

The overall aim of the Government decision in relation to the proposed transfer of the RTÉ NSO is to enable the orchestra to be established as a world class orchestra which would, with the NCH, provide a creative and imaginative programme strategy that would greatly enhance the offering of the combined organisation to the public.

In the recent Budget, I secured an allocation of €1 million to allow for the start of the process of transferring the National Symphony Orchestra to the remit of the National Concert Hall.

Discussions are ongoing between this Department, the NCH, RTÉ and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment in order to resolve practical issues arising from the transfer.

In addition, engagement continues with the members of the National Symphony Orchestra.

I look forward to further progress on this important issue.