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28/07/2021

Donegal minister welcomes the Outdoor Public Space Scheme 2021


Each local authority can apply for up to €250,000 under the scheme

Donegal minister welcomes the Outdoor Public Space Scheme 2021

New fund to help arts, culture and festivals

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Donegal TD, Charlie McConalogue, has welcomed his Cabinet colleague Minister Martin TD’s announcement today of a new funding scheme to help local authorities open up and create public spaces and facilities dedicated to the arts, culture and festivals.

The scheme will be known as the Outdoor Public Space Scheme 2021.

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.

Local authorities are invited to propose capital projects for outdoor spaces which are flexible, innovative and facilitate year-round use.

Ideally projects should 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.

Projects should aim to deliver speedy results or actions with added benefits for tourism, and the hospitality sector.

They should also demonstrate how they will support the Night-time Economy, a priority in the Programme for Government.

Each local authority can apply for up to €250,000 under the scheme.

The new scheme responds to Recommendation 9 of the Report of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce.

This specifically proposed that local authorities provide artistic spaces, to improve wellbeing and that can provide year-round use.

The details of the scheme have been developed in consultation with the County and City Management Association and with input from Fáilte Ireland.

The features of this latest Covid capital fund response are as follows:

- Funding will be available to local authorities;
- Local authorities can apply for a capital grant of up to €250,000 for a project at a funding rate of up to 90%;
- Funding will be awarded for projects that focus on the delivery of infrastructure to support arts, culture, creative activities, entertainment events and festivals and the Night-time Economy.
- Local authorities should consult with Fáilte Ireland on the proposed project;
- Eligible projects include the provision, adaptation or improvement of outdoor public spaces in population centres;
- Local authorities should ensure that proposed facilities are relevant to local needs and circumstances;
- All grants will be paid out on the basis of paid invoices;
- The scheme will apply for the period of the coronavirus crisis and applications will be accepted throughout;
- Local authorities can propose suitable projects for the scheme immediately.

Minister McConalogue said this announcement is a fulfilment of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce’s recommendations and in line with the Programme for Government’s commitments on wellbeing.

"Now, more than ever, given the difficulties faced by the arts and culture industry during Covid-19, it is important to support this industry and support our Local Authorities in supporting the industry.

"This scheme will give Donegal County Council the opportunity to adapt, equip or otherwise improve public spaces for cultural and events activities,” he said.

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