Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Ceisteanna (230, 235, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241, 242)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

230. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media if a local authority can submit multiple applications up to the maximum of €250,000 or just one single application to that value in relation to the reimagining our outdoor public spaces scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8629/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

235. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the reason the decision was made not to use the €15 million proposed for the two-year outdoor public space scheme to pay artists and performers who are without work for almost a year and need funding to survive and to perform in existing cultural spaces. [8822/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

237. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media if funding for the outdoor public space scheme is entirely new funding; if not, if funding will come from an existing budgetary allocation under the vote for her Department; and if so, the budgetary allocation concerned. [8824/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

238. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the reason the features of the outdoor public space scheme will require local authorities to consult with Fáilte Ireland on the proposed project but includes no requirement to consult with the local community in the case of each project before it is developed to ensure local imagination and the local creative and cultural needs are at the heart the scheme; and if local consultation will be included as a feature. [8825/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

239. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the reason for the decision in February 2021 to announce funding only for reimagining outdoor public spaces at a time when existing indoor venues are struggling; and her views on whether supporting existing venues and events workers should be a priority. [8826/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

240. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the reason the features of the outdoor public space scheme will require local authorities to consult with Fáilte Ireland on the proposed project but includes no requirement to consult with experts and professionals from the events industry; and if a commitment will be given to ensuring events industry professionals are consulted in all projects aimed at making public spaces more suitable for holding events. [8827/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

241. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media if a cost-benefit analysis was conducted into the outdoor public space scheme before funding was announced; and if so, if the result of such analysis will be published. [8828/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

242. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the reason the decision was made to respond to recommendation 9 of the report of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce by ignoring its recommendations to also provide support to indoor cultural spaces and to establish a regional project fund and privately operated venues fund; and if she also plans to deliver on these recommendations. [8829/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Tourism)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 230, 235 and 237 to 242, inclusive, together.

I announced the pilot Outdoor Public Space Scheme 2021 last week. The genesis of the scheme is Recommendation No 9 of Life Worth Living - the Report of the Arts and Culture Recovery Task Force.

The Scheme as advertised provides that a local authority can apply for a capital grant of up to €250,000 for a single project at a funding rate of up to 90%.

The pilot scheme was developed in consultation with the local authority County and City Managers Association, as the Local Authorities are best placed to understand the individual needs of the communities they serve.

The scheme is intended to fund local authorities to adapt, equip or otherwise improve public spaces for cultural and events activities, taking account of public health guidelines and of the needs of the local arts community. Outdoor public spaces that can provide year-round use can improve wellbeing and contribute positively to the public realm. The support will allow each local authority to adapt, equip or otherwise improve public spaces for cultural and events activities. The new scheme will take account of public health guidelines and of the needs of local arts and entertainment communities. Ideally projects will respond to the challenges associated with COVID-19 and support the recovery of the creative, cultural, entertainment and events sector as well as being future-proofed from a health and safety perspective.

The Public Spending Code requires cost benefits analyses to be completed for projects over €20m and as this scheme will not reach that threshold, such an analyses was not therefore required. The scheme is designed to deliver speedy results in order to support live performances as soon as it is safe to do so, and within any potential future restrictions on outdoor events.

Funding for the scheme will be delivered from within existing resources of the Department. It will not come from the allocation of €50 million made in Budget 2021 for the live performance sector. It is however part of a comprehensive suite of measures to support the cultural sector in response to the impacts of COVID-19 on the sector. It is also designed to align with similar schemes being developed by Fáilte Ireland to address infrastructure for outdoor dining. These initiatives have significant potential to enhance the public realm in local authority areas. They link to the wider work of the Night Time Economy Taskforce and will potentially contribute to the longer term regeneration of cities and towns across the country.