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.
Additional funding of €50m was announced today (December 8th) to support the Live Performance Sector. The supports are in response to the introduction of new restrictions on live performance capacities. The supports announced today for the sector include:
€5m for the seasonal musical theatre and pantomime scheme (LPSS 2), funding will increase from €2m to €5m and the turnover requirement is being reduced to €100,000 from €300,000 with applications being accepted until the end of January 2022. This scheme is now open for applications;
€20m for another strand of the Live Performance Support Scheme (LPSS 3), specifically to support performances in December and January which may need to be cancelled, curtailed or rescheduled. This scheme will open for applications on Friday December 17th. Venues, including nightclubs that stage live performances, Producers and Promoters can apply for up to 50% of their eligible costs;
A minimum of €14m for another strand of the Live Performance Support Scheme (LPSS 4), to support performances being staged from February 2022 to June 2022. This scheme will open in January 2022. If further funds are required the Minister will seek additional funding from the Covid Contingency Fund;
€5m for Local Authorities to support local artists and performances through the LLPSS (Local Live Performance Support Scheme). This will include funding for community and local pantomimes;
€5m to continue the capital supports scheme (CECGS) to venues, including for ventilation upgrades and other Covid adaptations;
€1m for the Saint Patricks Festival 2022.