Sinn Féin spokesperson for the arts, youth affairs and LGBTQI rights, Senator Fintan Warfield has called on the government to initiate a capital project in Budget 2018, for the development of an ‘Artist Studio Spaces Scheme’.

Such a scheme would develop State owned cultural infrastructure that offers security of tenure to artists across the country.

Senator Fintan Warfield said:

“Sinn Féin believes that designers, musicians, dancers, visual artists, web developers, and performers can and should be offered insulation from the commercial rental market and that such security of tenure can be provided through affordable, State owned spaces, rented to artistic tenants for short and long term tenancies that ensure fairness in access.

“In our Alternative Budget, we have ring-fenced a fund of €5 million in year one that will allow a number of Local Authorities repurpose and refurbish existing vacant Local Authority buildings for use as state owned artist studio spaces.

“An Artist Studio Spaces Scheme could also allow for the waiving of rent should the artist be engaged in cultural activity for the benefit of the local community.

“A percentage of artist space could also be reserved for young, emerging artists.”