Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has welcomed the Executive’s announcement that theatres and indoor concert settings can reopen to audiences.

Speaking after today’s Executive meeting Minister Hargey said:  “I welcome today’s news that these venues can now safely reopen.  I expect all venue promoters to have safety measures in place to ensure that staff and audiences are in a Covid safe environment. I believe that equality of access to the arts, be that through participation or as a member of the audience, is crucial and I look forward to attending a performance in the time ahead.”

I recently established a Culture, Arts & Heritage Recovery Taskforce to advise on measures to support reopening and recovery in the short-term as these important sectors emerge from the pandemic. I am grateful to them for their expert advice which I brought to the Executive table today.

“The huge part that the arts play in our lives has come into sharp focus through the closure of theatres, concert halls and other venues during the pandemic with the necessary cancellation of so many performances. 

“When these venues suffer so does our economy as they employ  thousands of staff directly and indirectly, they help boost tourism and also work to support our hospitality sector.

The Minister added:  “I will be meeting with the Taskforce chair, Rotha Johnston, later in the week to discuss how financial support for the sector might be best directed.”


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