22 May 2022

Martin highlights need for night-time cultural spaces to 'bring communities together'

Martin highlights need for night-time cultural spaces to 'bring our communities together'

The Minister for Culture has highlighted a need for night-time cultural spaces in Ireland to "bring our communities together". 

Minister Catherine Martin made the comments yesterday (Wednesday May 11) during a workshop about planning and regulation of the Night-Time Economy (NTE).

She said, "Ireland’s night-time sector plays a critical role in the cultural and creative life of our communities as well as our economy, however we need a planning and development system to support its growth and development." 

Speaking to a seated crowd yesterday, she said, "Imagine opening up our unused buildings where emerging and established musicians, DJs, our local food producers, are all on show alongside paintings, exhibitions, pop-up bars and art installations." 

The workshop - which was attended by groups including Give Us The Night, An Garda Síochána, Fáilte Ireland, the Arts Council and other representative groups - was hosted by the minister and her ministerial colleague Malcolm Noonan, who called for the Night-Time Economy to be "properly supported". 

He said, "There are vacant buildings left idle across our towns and villages that could see a new life as a public and cultural space. The Town Centre First policy encourages the development of these spaces to support the economic and cultural life of local communities. 

"We need systems in place to ensure the Night-Time Economy is properly supported and regulated so that it meets the needs of people working in those sectors. This workshop is a fantastic opportunity to hear people’s experiences and suggestions on how we can develop best practises around revitalising these spaces." 

The workshop comes following the Night-Time Economy Taskforce Report, which highlighted key challenges around regulations and licencing. 

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