Minister Catherine Martin has today announced additional financial supports of €4.9m for the broadcasting sector. The supports are targeted at independent radio, in particular local and regional radio, and the production of programmes that support the live music sector.
Minister Martin will be providing additional funding of €2.5m for the independent radio sector.
The Minister today wrote to the BAI requesting that they develop a funding round for the independent radio sector early next year. Minister Martin asked that local and regional radio stations in particular would be prioritised.
Speaking today the Minister said: “Radio has played a vital role in providing reliable news and information to citizens throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and in bringing together local communities. I am delighted to be able to provide additional support of €2.5m which builds on earlier supports to the sector to ensure they can continue to deliver their services at this difficult time when advertising revenues have been reduced.
“I hope these extra funds will help local radio stations across the country who have had a difficult year. I have met with the sector and heard their concerns and want to ensure that local radio stations have more support as we hopefully look towards a better period for the country next year.”
Recognising the severe challenges faced by the live music sector as a result of COVID-19, the Minister also asked the BAI to include a call for specific projects to support this sector in the next general round of Sound and Vision and has provided €1.4m for this purpose.
The Minister noted: “We all love our live music and miss going to gigs and concerts. I have asked the BAI, therefore, in calling for applications for the next general round of Sound and Vision to seek projects which will provide a mechanism to support the sector.”
This will complement the other initiatives to support the live music sector that the Minister has already put in place.
Finally, the Minister asked the BAI to allocate €1m of the additional funding to the current Sound and Vision round which was hugely oversubscribed, providing much needed support for the independent production sector.