Speech by Minister Seán Kyne TD – Minister for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development at the launch of the WRAP Fund
Salthill, Galway, Thursday, 12th October ‘17
I’m delighted to be here in Salthill at the FÍS Summit to launch the ‘West Region Audiovisual Producers’ Fund’ or WRAP for short.
The WRAP is an exciting new initiative being led by the Western Development Commission and Galway Film Centre in partnership with the local authorities of Clare, Donegal, Galway City, Galway County, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo.
The West of Ireland is synonymous with creativity – from visual arts, language and literature to film, television, gaming and digital media.
The Western Development Commission’s landmark report, ‘Creative West’ has provided direction through which supports such as the micro-loan fund and the ‘EU MyCreative Edge’ have helped the West’s creative sector to flourish.
In that Report the WDC set out its reasons for focusing on the creative sector –
“The WDC has an interest in promoting the creative sector within the region because it has strong growth potential, generates high quality employment, stimulates innovation in other sectors, plays a key social role and can stimulate both rural and regional development.”
I think that statement really captures the benefits that accrue for all of us when the creative sector is supported. And it’s why supporting the creative sector is a prominent objective of the Action Plan for Jobs for the West and of the Realising Our Rural Potential Action Plan.
Each one of us has creative talents:
Some invest and devote those talents directly in the creative sector in the arts, visual arts, film, television, radio, music and literature, among other areas.
Many others invest their creative talents outside of the traditional areas –
- in the workplace, for example, with a better way of carrying out a task,
- or in the community helping an organisation to tackle a problem in a creative way,
- or on the sporting field where creativity can often secure victory
- or even in a Tidy Towns committee or a parish newsletter.
The key point is that creativity has sweeping benefits from economic development to community development to individual development and we must recognise and nurture creativity to reap those benefits for all of us.
The creative sector is clearly a strength of the West of Ireland this can be seen in purely economic terms by the fact that the film and TV industry is worth €72 million annually to Galway and supports over 600 jobs.
In my opinion the Irish Language is one of the clearest examples of the West’s vibrant and flourishing creative sector.
Thug an Ghaeilge buntáiste faoi leith dúinn san Iarthair le hais ceantair eile. Smaoinigh ar obair TG 4 agus R na G agus ar an gcomhoibriú agus na sineirgí idir na hearnálacha poiblí agus príobháideacha. Cé go raibh TG 4 agus RnaG fíor-riachtanach chun an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn agus a chaomhnú, d’fhás tionscal iomlán san Iarthar de bharr coimisiúnú a rinne na heagraíochtaí sin ar tionscadail ón earnáil táirgthe neamhspleách.
Spreagann agus tacaíonn an infheistíocht seo le raon mór rólanna cruthaitheacha ó scríbhneoirí, léiritheoirí, stiúrthóirí, aisteoirí, láithreoirí, guthóirí agus innealtóirí fuaime. Agus aithnítear a gcuid oibre go hidirnáisiúnta.
With an investment of €2 million and an estimated 90 new jobs the WRAP Fund will enhance our creative sector further by supporting 15 development projects and ten internationally-funded co-productions
And that’s not to forget all of those who will be inspired by a book or a film or a TV programme or some other production which will ensure the creative cycle continues.
I’m also pleased to learn that Galway County and City Councils are to launch expressions of interest for the management of facilities, including two hangers, at the former airport site for film and TV production. This will further strengthen the creative sector in the West.
FÍS is of course the Irish word for ‘Vision’ and I commend the Western Development Commission, the Galway Film Centre and the local authority partners for launching the WRAP which I believe will be visionary in developing, encouraging and supporting the creative sector in the West of Ireland.