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​€2 million fund set up to help soundproof clubs in Ireland for extended opening hours

today20/07/2023 27

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A €2 million fund is set to be distributed to nightclubs in Ireland to help with noise mitigation after the government made plans to extend club opening hours earlier in October.

Soundproof funding has been made available to all clubs, who can apply for a maximum grant of €70,000 per application according to the Night Time Economy Noise Mitigation Grant Scheme guidelines.

Plans to allow clubs to stay open until 6:AM with a new licence were announced by Irish ministers in October 2022 and were expected to pass legislation sometime this year.

The extended licence legislation would overhaul archaic alcohol rules in the country, which currently stop clubs from staying open later than 2:30AM.

Read this next: Irish nightclubs set to be given 6:AM closing time from 2023 onwards

To help with noise mitigation following extended licence plans, the Irish government has announced a new grant scheme including an €800,000 fund towards art centres and cultural spaces to open later, and begin hosting new events like club nights and theatre shows.

The move follows a number of noise complaints surrounding Dublin nightclub Dicey’s, which is set to be inspected by District Judge Marie Quirke after locals suggested that the club had made no effort to reduce noise despite a court order.

The noise reduction efforts were announced on Tuesday by Minister Martin, who laid out plans to support the night time economy going forward. It also included ‘Summer Nights at Moore Street’, a series of cultural events featuring street art, live music, and circus performances.

Read this next: Irish government launches nightlife training to safeguard vulnerable clubbers

Speaking to Resident Advisor, founder of Ireland’s nightlife campaign group Give Us The Night, Sunil Sharpe, explained: “This is an issue that has been allowed to fester over the years through a combination of bad planning, flimsy regulation and an over-reliance on less-than-suitable repurposed buildings as venue spaces.”

He added that the move would help to “save jobs and careers”, and send out a message to the public that “night-time venues aren’t so much of a nuisance if they have ample noise protection in place.”

The extended licence legislation is still yet to be passed by the Irish government. If cleared, it would also allow pubs and bars to stay open until 12:30AM every day.

Applications for soundproofing grants are open now, and will remain open until December 31, 2023, or until the fund is exhausted. Find out how to apply here.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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