12 December 2019 The Irish Film & Television Network
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Making the Cut

First progress report on implementation of the Audiovisual Action Plan
02 Dec 2019 : Nathan Griffin
Launch of Audiovisual Action Plan in 2018.
The department of Culture, Herritage and the Gaeltacht has published the first report pertaining to the progress of the implementation of the Audiovisual Action Plan.

Launched by Minister Madigan in June 2018, the industrywide, long-term plan, under the Creative Ireland Programme, was developed to support the Government’s ambition to enable Ireland to become a global hub for the production of film, TV drama and animation.

The Action Plan was generated from 3 key inputs: (1) the Olsberg SPI with Nordicity (OSN Report) of December 20173 which set out an economic analysis of the Irish audiovisual industry with policy recommendations; (2) a Media Production Workshop held at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham4 which was attended by over 150 representatives of the industry; and (3) the Strategy for the Development of Skills for the Audiovisual Industry in Ireland5 prepared by Crowe Howarth and jointly commissioned by Screen Ireland and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Key observations from the report included:

  1. In 2016 the sector generated €857 million in gross value added to the Irish economy, together with an estimated €191 million in export earnings.
  2. The Audiovisual Action Plan seeks to implement policy recommendations in eight key areas.
  3. In doing so, it is hoped that the number of fulltime industry employees will increase to an estimated 24,000 and that the gross value of the sector will increase to nearly €1.4 billion.

As a result, the Audiovisual Action Plan Steering Group was established to oversee delivery on the following eight key areas:

  1. Oversight of Industry by Steering Group
  2. Section 481 Film Tax Relief
  3. Strategic Review of Feature Film Funding
  4. Funding
  5. Skills Development
  6. Regulatory Reform
  7. Marketing
  8. Other Supports and Reform

According to the published report, progress has been made on all eight policy areas set out in the Plan with specific focus being directed towards improvements in the Section 481 tax credit and the necessary various legislative changes during the first year of the implementation period. Under the eight policy areas, key achievements in the first year of implementation include:

  • Clear ownership of the Implementation Plan with cross-departmental and agency engagement;
  • Extension of the Section 481 tax credit to 2024;
  • Revision of Section 481 Regulations;
  • Increase in funding to Screen Ireland which has led to increased investment in TV drama, skills development, support to visit markets and establishing ways to provide a stronger presence in key markets such as Los Angeles;
  • Signing of the revised Council of Europe Convention on Cinematographic Co-production;
  • Developments relating to reform of the TV Licence fee model;
  • Introduction of the Regional Film Development Uplift;
  • Development of new skills development courses and enhanced training and skills development opportunities as part of Section 481 revisions.

In the weeks after the Audiovisual Action Plan was launched, the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht published a Report on Development and Working Conditions in the Irish Film Industry, which set out 11 specific conclusions and recommendations that shared the objectives of the Audiovisual Action Plan and helped form part of the considerations of the Steering Group.

Membership of the Steering Group is comprised of the following departments and agencies involved in the industry: Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht; Department of Finance; Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment; Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation;  Department of Education and Skills; The Revenue Commissioners; Screen Ireland; Broadcasting Authority of Ireland; IDA Ireland; and Enterprise Ireland.

Click here to read the progress report in full on the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht’s website.

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