The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, has announced that six Irish cities and town will be selected to take part in a night-time economy pilot programme. The pilot will include the appointment of Night-Time Economy advisors in each of the selected towns or cities which aims to help boost the night-time economy and promote a diverse and vibrant night-time culture.
Whispers of extended opening hours for late-night venues have been snowballing a real likelihood for this year. Earlier in the spring the late-night sector received some assurance from Leo Varadkar that extended opening hours were on the horizon for the later part of 2022, and now Catherine Martin has confirmed that six counties and towns will take part in a pilot scheme for this summer and autumn.
“The establishment of Night-time advisors in the six pilot towns and cities will be a significant step towards securing a vibrant and importantly a more sustainable night-time culture for all our citizens. The selection of these pilot towns and cities is a vital stage in this process and I would like to thank the CCMA and the local authorities for their leadership and support for this process. This is in direct response to an action in the Report of the Night-Time Economy Taskforce which I published last year. The Taskforce explored ways in which we could promote a thriving, inclusive and diverse Night-Time Economy. It is crucial now that we follow up on their recommendations and act on them to create and support opportunities for audiences, venues, businesses and performers.” – Catherine Martin.
Catherine Martin has allocated funding over a two-year period to support the recruitment of the Night-time Advisors for each of the chosen areas. The process is being led by the City and County Managers Association (CCMA) which has recently issued the call to all local authorities to apply for funding to establish the role in their town or city. The application call for Local Authorities will close on 24th June 2022 and the chosen cities/towns will be announced this summer.
Minister Martin has also allocated funding to support late night openings in a number of the National Cultural Institutions this summer and autumn. The funding will allow NCIs to open later than usual in the evenings but also to support events and performances with the aim of broadening and diversifying the range of cultural offerings available to the public at night.
In addition, with support from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, the National Concert Hall, IMMA and the National Museum of Ireland will also be hosting large-scale pilot events this year to trial new and more diverse offerings later into the night.