The success of entertainment sector supports will be judged by who can access the €50 million funding package, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Senator John Cummins said, “Today’s announcement of €50m for the live performance sector highlights Government’s understanding that we need to support these organisations and the commitment to assisting those across the sector who have been negatively impacted by the 50% capacity restriction.
“The support package includes an increase of €3m (€5m total) for the seasonal musical theatre and pantomime scheme (LPSS 2) as well as €5m for Local Authorities to support artists and performances.
“However, the success of these schemes will be judged by who can access the funds.
“The funding must support every facet of the entire live entertainment sector, from professional artists to semi-professional and amateur groups right across the country.
“The decision to limit capacity to 50% for shows and concerts, which in many cases were already fully booked, is a devasting hurdle which many groups, societies and producers have been unable to overcome. Therefore, it is appropriate that €20m has been ringfenced in a new Live Performance Support Scheme (LPSS 3), specifically designed to support performances in December and January which may need to be cancelled, curtailed or rescheduled.
“When I wrote to Minister Catherine Martin outlining the need for supports for the live entertainment and theatre sector, following last Friday’s announcement. I specifically requested such a scheme to mitigate against lost revenue as well as a reduction in the turnover requirement for accessing the scheme. I also asked that smaller, local producers and groups, in particular, receive support urgently.
“Today’s announcement that the turnover requirement is being reduced from €300,000 to €100,000 is brilliant news, as is the new €5m Local Live Performance Support Scheme which will be administered by Local Authorities. This suggestion was made yesterday on the floor of the Seanad and I want to thank the Minister for taking on board the suggestion. Local Authority Arts Offices are best placed to know the groups that need supports the most.
“Throughout the pandemic, Fine Gael in Government has ensured businesses and workers have received vital support. Minister Paschal Donohoe recently announced additional targeted supports for the hospitality sector, including a weekly payment of up to €5,000. Minister Heather Humphreys also announced the reintroduction of the PUP for those impacted by the new restrictions.
“Today’s support package is timely, and it is essential that those who need it most, receive it in a timely fashion,” concluded Senator Cummins.