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Budget 2022: Full Programme of supports for Culture and Arts, Gaeltacht, and Media sectors revealed
13 Oct 2021 : Nathan Griffin
Irish Screen Industry
The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, and Minister of State, Jack Chambers TD, have announced details of €1,197,498,000 gross funding allocated to the Department in Budget 2022.

The programme is said to cover an extensive range of imaginative new funding streams and measures to support the resilience and growth of practitioners, businesses, communities and operations in sectors overseen by the Department.

“Budget 2022, which has been negotiated between the three parties in Government, delivers a powerful package of supports to strengthen the tourism, culture, Gaeltacht, sport and media sectors, right across Ireland,” said Minister Catherine Martin. “These measures announced in detail today, result from ongoing dialogue and engagement between the officials in my Department and the sectors and communities, which come under our remit. Together, we have provided strong supports throughout the very difficult COVID-19 period to help these crucially important sectors survive and, now that the country is emerging from the pandemic, we are supporting their future growth and successes.

“The measures announced in detail are, of course, sector-specific measures, but are also supplemented by the economy-wide business supports and measures announced in Budget 2022, including wage supports. Working with Minister of State Jack Chambers, this budget gives us a strong platform from which to support our sectors in their recovery, direct a renewed focus on delivery of our ambitious Programme for Government commitments, and engage with the sectors to develop new policies and initiatives."

Minister Chambers added: “I am really pleased we have been able to increase funding for a range of programmes and initiatives for the Irish language and Sport sectors. The continued incremental increase in funding for the Irish language will help our Gaeltacht communities to grow and prosper and are part of a suite of measures, including the Official Languages (Amendment) Bill designed to support the use of the Irish language and the provision of services through Irish.”

Key Highlights of Budget 2022 across Culture & Arts, Gaeltacht, and Media:

Culture and Arts

The aim of the Government’s Culture programme is said to promote and develop Ireland’s world class artistic and creative strengths at home and abroad, maximising their value for the country, and supporting the sectors in their recovery.

Highlights in Culture and Arts include:

  • €25m to pilot a new Basic Income Guarantee scheme for artists and arts workers.  Significant sectoral stakeholder engagement will take place in the coming weeks to inform the pilot scheme, and ensure that it meets the needs of the sector. Once that engagement is complete, details will be finalised and announced, with a likely pilot launch in early 2022.
  • Maintaining the Arts Council allocation at the record-level €130m. This allocation will allow the Arts Council to continue to protect jobs and livelihoods of artists, and assist arts organisations through financial difficulties. With such assistance and the support of the public, the core infrastructure of the arts in Ireland has survived. And with this ongoing strong public funding in 2022, the Arts Council is empowered to play a strong role in supporting artists and arts organisations to flourish in the years ahead.
  • €25m for further supports in 2022 for live entertainment as this important sector emerges from the devastating impacts of the pandemic.  Supports will be put in place to assist the live entertainment industry to recover fully and return to full-scale performances. This follows from a number of schemes in 2021 to support the industry including the LPSS (Live Performance Support Scheme), MEBAS (Music and Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme) and ESCSS (Events Sector Covid Support Scheme).
  • A €6.65m increase in funding for Screen Ireland from its initial 2021 allocation to over €36.7m. The audiovisual industry has been one of the success stories of the past 18 months, with internationally successful productions such as animated feature film ‘Wolfwalkers’ and TV Drama ‘Normal People’. Training and skills development will continue to be a strong focus in the sector. This additional Budget funding will ensure the continued success and growth of this internationally renowned industry into the future.
    • Increased capital allocation of €5.9m will allow Screen Ireland to bolster support for indigenous production. Key initiatives will include the encouragement of more regional production in the Irish language, the continuation of the Academies, a new funding stream to support documentary series and a further round of slate funding for Irish companies. Remaining current funding will be used to support the resumption of market activity, and enhancing the profile of Ireland as a filming destination. 
  • A new tax credit for the digital gaming sector (to be published as part of the Finance Bill). One of recommendations in the Audiovisual Action Plan, this measure will help support the development of the digital gaming sector. Synergies with our film and animation sectors can support quality employment.
  • Building on the pilot late night activities for Culture Night, develop more innovative programming for 2022 in partnership with the Arts Council and the NTE sector
  • €5m to support the 2022 Commemorative Programme, delivering rich and diverse national and local programmes marking the significant centenaries arising in 2022. The ambitious Programme for the Decade of Centenaries next year will include supporting the development and delivery of:
  • Creative partnerships such as the Artists-in Residence Programme, a new major national poetry initiative and ambitious broadcasting and arts partnerships
  • Investment in the Mná100 project to highlight the role of women during this period of history
  • Increased Creative Ireland Programme funding of €1.5m to support additional creative health and wellbeing initiatives, as well as increased resources for local authorities to deliver an enhanced Cruinniú na nÓg.
  • Funding of €4.6m for Culture Ireland to again support the international physical presentation of Irish artists worldwide, creating new work opportunities for Irish artists and reinforcing Ireland’s strong global reputation for arts and creativity.

“As Minister with responsibility for Arts and Culture, I am conscious of the contribution that this sector makes to people’s everyday lives both in Ireland and abroad; this was particularly evident during the pandemic,” said Minister Martin. “The importance of Irish culture, Irish art and Irish productions as a whole cannot be understated in terms of its impact both internationally and at home. The Government has recognised, with this strong and imaginative package of supports announced today, that bold steps are necessary for our much treasured arts, events and cultural community to come back stronger than ever before.”

“I am particularly pleased to be announcing the pilot of the new Basic Income Guarantee Scheme for artists,” added Minister Martin. “Grounded in on-going dialogue with the sector, this scheme will bring new life and support to the arts and culture sector, and I hope it will provide an important legacy for our artists, after the very difficult circumstances they have endured over the last year and a half. The measure was also the key ask from the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce.”

Gaeltacht

The Government’s Gaeltacht programme aims to support the Irish Language and to strengthen its use as the principal community language of the Gaeltacht.

Budget 2022 - Gaeltacht Highlights include:

  • Over €85.6m funding allocation for Gaeltacht and Irish language sector:  an increase of €7m on the 2021 allocation
  • Funding for TG4 increased by €4.2m

In line with Programme for Government commitments, Minister Martin and Minister of State Chambers together welcomed the announcement that additional funding of €7m will be provided for the Gaeltacht and Irish language sector next year, bringing its funding allocation to over €85.6m. In addition, under the Department’s Media allocation, funding to TG4 is being increased by €4.2m to bring it up to €44.933m – the organisation’s largest ever increase.  Also available to TG4 next year, will be potential for significant additional advertising revenue arising from the provisions of the soon to be enacted Official Languages (Amendment) Bill.

Minister Chambers said: “The additional funding being provided under my Department’s Gaeltacht allocation, in addition to the significant increase for TG4, will greatly assist in supporting the ongoing implementation of the Action Plan.”

Minister Chambers added that the Official Languages (Amendment) Bill, when enacted, would not only assist in ensuring that Irish speakers are provided with services in our first language, but would provide a myriad of new employment opportunities for Irish speakers, and enhanced public service advertising revenue for Irish language media including TG4.

Media

The objective of the Government’s Media programme is said to promote, support and protect a diverse and plural media sector, including through the establishment of a new regulator, the Media Commission, which will support the provision of high quality public service broadcasting and oversee effective regulation of online safety.

Highlights in Media include:

  • Funding of €5.5m for establishment of new Media Commission: including the appointment of an Online Safety Commissioner in 2022 
  • Largest ever funding increase for TG4 with funding up €4.2m: bringing their annual funding for 2022 to €44.933m.

Minister Martin said: “I am delighted to secure €5.5m in funding for the establishment of the Media Commission in 2022. The funding will primarily be used to facilitate the formal establishment of the Media Commission, to build up regulatory capacity, structures and expertise in Online Safety and media regulation that will fall under the Commission’s remit. This will enable the Media Commission to hire an Online Safety Commissioner, to begin work on key issues at an early stage and to hit the ground running following the enactment of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill in 2022.”

The Minister also welcomed the substantial increase in funding for TG4 which is the largest annual increase in TG4 funding: “TG4 have an ambitious post-Covid Strategy; I am delighted that the additional funding I secured will allow them to deliver on their plans to put news content and younger audiences centre stage. I also recognise that TG4’s programme supports a wide range of innovative content from the regional independent production sector. The additional funding will boost content production while providing a valuable source of employment in the Gaeltacht and the West of Ireland. Together with the increased revenues anticipated from the measures in the Official Languages (Amendment) Bill, I believe that TG4 will continue to grow its invaluable services for Irish speaking communities and beyond.”

TG4 propose to invest in their digital interfaces for youth audiences and develop youth-centred news and content. They will build on the success of Cúla 4 ar Scoil, which provided educational supports during the pandemic for home schooling. TG4 also propose to invest additional funding in the regional independent production sector, including the production of younger children’s content. This is in keeping with their strategy to support the regional development of the audio-visual industry.

Minister Martin concluded by saying: "This country is now beginning to emerge from what was the worst pandemic in a century, and one of the greatest crises of our time. The sectors covered by this Department were amongst those worst impacted, and they will be amongst the last to fully recover.  I have worked hard, in dialogue with sectoral representatives, officials in my Department, and Government colleagues to build this powerful programme of measures and supports announced here today, to ensure that the people of Ireland continue to participate in, and enjoy, the very important work that we oversee.”





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