Written answers

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Culture Policy

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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223. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht when she intends to establish the night-time culture mayors proposed for Dublin and Cork; if she will confirm that the examination into the establishment of local committees in other urban areas to improve night-time culture has taken place and when she intends to establish such committees. [32176/22]

Photo of Catherine MartinCatherine Martin (Dublin Rathdown, Green Party)
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The Report of the Night-Time Economy Taskforce was published in September 2021 and it contained 36 practical recommendations in the areas of regulation, licensing, planning, transport, safety and increasing the diversity of activities as part of the night-time offering.

Following consideration of the establishment of Night-Time Culture Mayors in Dublin and Cork by the Taskforce as per the Taskforce's Terms of Reference, Action 19 was agreed.  This Action within the Report calls for a pilot initiative to establish new "Night-Time Advisors" in six cities and towns to develop new Night-Time Economy opportunities.  Establishment of Night-Time Advisors in Dublin and Cork will be considered within this context.

The County and City Management Association (CCMA) are leading on this initiative with support from my Department.   The pilot will run for a two year period and the CCMA recently issued a call for applications to all local authorities for the six pilot towns/cities which will close on the 24th  June. An evaluation committee with membership from the CCMA, my Department and an external independent member will review applications.

Once appointed, the Night-Time Advisor will establish a Night-Time Economy Committee which will consist of artists, cultural facilities, event promoters, festival organisers, hospitality interests, local champions, public bodies, retailers and other businesses, residents, venue owners/operators.  The Advisor will ensure that all existing local structures are assessed to ensure synergies are developed where possible and that duplication of effort is avoided.

A key element of this initiative will also include an extensive consultation process led by the Advisor, who will engage the local community in the process of developing ideas for the NTE in their own locality. The Advisor will develop a cohesive action plan for the specific town/city and it will contain key deliverables, including a range of proven interventions and the identification of potential funding streams to support the NTE in the chosen cities/towns.

The learning from these pilot projects will be shared with the CCMA who, in consultation with other key stakeholders including my Department and others can then form a view on the future of the initiative and whether it should be extended to other areas.

I look forward to the establishment and work of the Night-Time advisors, as it will be another significant step towards securing a vibrant and importantly a more sustainable night-time culture for all our citizens.

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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224. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the examination that has taken place into agent of change initiatives and if it is her intention to develop a policy on such initiatives. [32177/22]

Photo of Catherine MartinCatherine Martin (Dublin Rathdown, Green Party)
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A commitment to examine the 'Agent of Change' initiatives whereby existing cultural spaces have to be taken into account when new building is taking place is included in the Programme for Government.  The issue also arose during the consultation phase of the work of the Night-Time Economy Taskforce in the context of effective noise management and a recommendation to examine this issue was included in the final Report.  My Department is leading on this but it also involves consultation with and input from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications.   

In this context, I recently co-chaired a Night-Time Economy Workshop with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage to address challenges relating to planning and regulation for those operating in the Night-Time Economy and discussions took place regarding the Agent of Change and the various issues involved.  A report on the workshop is being prepared and will be submitted to the Night-Time Economy Implementation Group for consideration and action.

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