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Arts sector: €50m support for live events announced in Budget 2021

Michael McGrath said Covid has had a “devastating impact” on arts, cultural and sporting activities.

Image: Shutterstock/Taya Ovod

THE GOVERNMENT HAS announced €50 million in support for live entertainment after the sector was heavily disrupted by Covid-19. 

This measure was announced by the Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath as part of the 2021 Budget detailed this afternoon. 

The €17.75 billion package is the biggest Budget in the history of the State. 

As part of this, Arts Council funding will be increased to €130 million, a €50 million increase on last year. 

The Arts Council of Ireland said this money will “support artists and art organisations” throughout the pandemic and ensure people can continue to engage with the arts next year. 

McGrath said: “Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on arts, cultural and sporting activities.

“The spaces that brought us together, often in celebration of some of our most talented people, for now, lie empty and silent.”

The government also plans to enhance support for the national cultural institutions and transfer the National Symphony Orchestra to the National Concert Hall. 

In Budget documents, the government said it would increase support to €9 million for the audio visual industry. 

The minister said the government must ensure the thousands of people working in these industries are supported. 

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Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe further announced a new scheme to provide targeted support for businesses which have been majorly impacted or temporarily closed due to the pandemic. 

The scheme will help assist these affected businesses. It will generally operate when restrictions at Level 3 or higher are in place. It will cease when restrictions are lifted. 

The sectors included in this scheme are accommodation, food, the arts, recreation and entertainment. 

If the government decides to move to a higher level of restrictions, then it may qualify other sectors.

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