Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (276)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

276. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media her plans to provide long-awaited supports for artists, musicians and events workers who have benefited neither from the Covid restrictions support scheme as they are without premises nor from the selective and competitive live performance support scheme which depends on an easing of Covid-19 restrictions; and the way in which these workers that are without supports since March 2020 are expected to pay mortgages, loans and bills. [7223/21]

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Written answers (Question to Tourism)

An allocation of €50 million was made in Budget 2021 for the live performance sector. It is intended that the rollout of the funding would include measures that will build on grant schemes launched under the July stimulus, such as the pilot "Live Performance Support Scheme" and the "Music Industry Support Package".

Over €5 million in funding was provided through the pilot "Live Performance Support Scheme" to assist commercial venues, producers and promoters to plan live performances across the country, with a total of 59 organisations benefiting from the scheme. The main objective of the pilot scheme was to provide employment opportunities in this uncertain time and allow commercial organisers of live performances to prepare productions for either a live audience or to share content through streaming.

Officials have gained valuable insights from these schemes and will apply these learnings when allocating funding this year. The operation of the pilot Live Performance Support Scheme clearly demonstrated the versatility of the live entertainment sectors and particularly showed that staging high quality live entertainment does not depend on an easing of Covid-19 restrictions. Since mid-November throughout the Christmas period, and continuing even now, the scheme has provided a pipeline of streamed live performances. On 31 January the Landmark Production of Happy Days was streamed live to theatre lovers in Ireland and across the world from the Olympia Theatre. This week can I invite the Deputy to watch Aslan live from the Irish National Event Centre by tuning into the Live At The INEC series every Monday at RTÉ Culture.

Other measures are also under consideration including those which have emerged from engagement with the sector and with stakeholders. This engagement is ongoing and it is hoped that further details and decisions will be announced shortly.

Under the current Level 5 restrictions supports such as the PUP and the CRSS will continue to be made available to those impacted. Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) is also available to help maintain people in jobs. Further details of the range of government supports available to help businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis can be viewed at the following link - https://enterprise.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/Government-supports-to-COVID-19-impacted-businesses.html.