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Screen Ireland launches new three year strategy; €3 Million to be invested in developing creative screen industry skills
06 Oct 2021 : Nathan Griffin
Herself starring Clare Dunne.
Screen Ireland’s new three-year strategy entitled Building for a Creative Future 2024 includes a series of new initiatives focused on developing screen industry that contributed €289 million to economy in first half of 2021 and directly supports 12,000 jobs.

The Strategy was launched by Screen Ireland CEO, Desiree Finnegan, and the recently appointed Chair of the Screen Ireland Board, Susan Bergin, while on on a visit to the set of Graham Norton’s Holding in Cork.

Building for a Creative Future 2024 sets out an ambitious vision for the booming creative screen industry with a number of targeted initiatives to drive sustainable growth for the future. 

In recognition of the continued growth in demand for skills, an investment in creative talent and skills development is at the heart of the new strategy. Screen Ireland announced plans to invest €3 million in the development of industry crew and talent in the coming months. To deliver on the skills and talent development ambitions embedded within the strategy, Screen Skills Ireland will adopt a more central role as the skills team within Screen Ireland by the end of 2021.

Three new regional Crew Hubs are planned for across the country working collectively to target a national approach to crew development. Two new ‘Screen Ireland National Talent Academies for Film and TV Drama and Animation’ have also been established to build talent and skills regionally.

A new scheme, Pathways, will enable new entrants from a range of diverse backgrounds to gain paid work experience opportunities on film and television productions. 

A range of other initiatives being announced today are designed to support this ambition: 

  • a new platform called ‘Where to Watch,’ which will help audiences all over the world to discover Irish productions; 
  • a new Creative Futures Fund (CFF) to build additional development capabilities and to support high-quality creative projects; 
  • a new support fund for Irish distribution companies designed to help offset the challenges that have been created by Covid-19.

Building for a Creative Future 2024 builds on the momentum in the industry as it continues to enjoy growth and success despite the challenges faced over the course of the pandemic. In the first six months of 2021, the industry contributed an estimated €289 million to the economy and directly supported over 12,000 jobs.  

Speaking about the new strategy the Chair of the Screen Ireland Board, Susan Bergin, said: “The global environment in which the Irish creative screen industry operates has become very competitive in the race for talent, well-written stories, production hubs, studios, and tax incentives. Much of the success that has been achieved in recent years is the culmination of the long-term investment in talent and in growing the industry, and as such, the continued support for incentives such as Section 481 is critical.”

“In parallel with these fiscal incentives, we need to be creative and innovative in how we approach the future – building resilience into the sector and ensuring that we are in a position to compete for the best international productions while also identifying, nurturing, and empowering local talent and productions,” Bergin added. “We believe that Strategic Plan 2024 has the right ambition, focus areas and initiatives to ensure that the creative screen industry will continue to develop in the years ahead.”  

Screen Ireland CEO, Desiree Finnegan, added: “This strategy sets out our ambition for a creative future as we emerge from the pandemic.  Reaching record levels of production activity in Ireland this year is a remarkable achievement and demonstrates the creative screen industry’s commitment, dedication, and resilience. To achieve sustainable growth, a supportive policy environment and targeted funding initiatives will be required. 

“Continuing to invest in Irish creative talent and expanding the highly-skilled crew base through innovative skills development programmes will deliver a significant cultural benefit for Irish and international audiences. 

“We aim to strengthen Ireland’s creative competitive advantage in a world where storytelling on screen is a cultural and economic driver for creativity and innovation, generating highly-skilled jobs, export growth and screen tourism. In this rapidly evolving sector, staying ahead of future trends and embracing creative innovation will be fundamental to developing new approaches to creative screen storytelling for next generation audiences. 

“We look forward to working with all our partners, from concept development through audience engagement, to ensure that the ambitious potential of the industry can be achieved.”

Tom Collins: “For me it's all about the work, which is about creating a reflection of a modern Irish cultural identity that can travel beyond borders, history and these shores.”
Over €4.6m allocated by Creative Europe to Irish screen industry in 2021
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