A new funding scheme is to be launched to help local authorities open up and create public spaces and facilities dedicated to the arts, culture and festivals.

Local authorities can apply for a capital grant of up to €250,000.

One of the recommendations of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce was that more outdoor spaces be provided around the country for arts and cultural activities.

This is particularly important given restrictions on indoor events due to Covid-19.

Minister Catherine Martin will today announce a funding scheme to help local authorities open up and create public spaces dedicated to the arts, culture and festivals.

It is envisaged that the projects will respond to the challenges of Covid-19 and support the recovery of the arts and culture sector.

Applicants are also asked to consider how they would support the night-time economy in their area, and are asked to aim for speedy results with added benefits for tourism and hospitality.

Each local authority can apply for up to €250,000 under the scheme.

Minister Martin said she is looking forward to "creative and imaginative solutions" in the applications.

Give us the Night, a group campaigning for positive changes to nightlife in Ireland, has welcomed the new funding scheme.

Speaking to RTÉ's Morning Ireland, spokesperson Sunil Sharpe said it is hoped that local authorities will try out some new ideas and bring more life and activity to the public realm and to outdoor events, to assist the struggling sector.

Assisting the night-time economy is key to re-imagining space, especially for summer events, he said.

He said that the public is also calling for a better use of public space and "we need to think outside of the box".

Mr Sharpe said it is not clear when the sector would resume as normal and while it may be 2022, some events for small groups may be possible in the last quarter of this year.