Cullinane welcomes support for local radio stations
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Communications David Cullinane has welcomed a release of €2.5million under the Sound and Vision scheme to support local radio stations.
Deputy Cullinane has engaged extensively with Minister Richard Bruton on this and called for €5million to be released under the fund.
Speaking today Deputy Cullinane said:“Local, regional and independent radio stations are crucial to our democracy and are trusted platforms in disseminating information. We have seen them once again step up to the plate and provide an important public service during this COVID-19 crisis.
“However, many are in a precarious situation and have seen advertising revenue fall dramatically. It is an industry that needs urgent support and interventions to stay afloat.
“Over the course of the last few weeks, I have engaged directly with the Minister on this issue. I welcomed his announcement to suspend the broadcasting levy for six months. I urged him to go further and release €5million under the Sound and Vision Scheme to aid local radio stations.
“This requires a repurposing of the existing scheme to include a new round of funding with greater flexibility regarding eligibility.
“I welcome the announcement by the Minister that he has acceded to this request and has put aside €2.5million under a repurposed round of funding.
"This will be a huge help for local radio stations. I have asked the Minister to review this in a number of weeks and to increase to €5million if necessary.
“I also welcome the €750,000 fund for community radio. I have asked Minister Bruton to take up my suggestion of creating an advertising fund for Government Departments to advertise on local print media to support local newspapers.
“Today is a step in the right direction in supporting local print and broadcast media.
"I will continue to engage with local media as to how this scheme will be rolled out and to work constructively with the Minister to help safeguard local and regional print and broadcast media.”