The Audiovisual Action Plan, launched in June 2018, is an industry-wide, 10 year plan, under the Creative Ireland Programme, developed to support the Government’s ambition to enable Ireland to become a global hub for the production of film, TV drama and animation. It is intended to drive both increased investment and production across the sector by implementing policy recommendations in 8 key areas. Implementation of the Plan is overseen by a high level Steering Group comprising representatives from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Screen Ireland, the Department of Finance, the Department of Education and Skills, Revenue Commissioners, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland.
I am pleased to report that on 1 December 2019, the First Progress Report on Implementation of the Audiovisual Action Plan was published. It provides a detailed description of the achievements under the Plan to date. Key highlights are:
- 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.
This Government highly values the cultural, creative and economic potential of Ireland’s audiovisual industry and the growing animation sector is an intrinsic part of that industry. Government policy supports the audiovisual sector through inter alia the section 481 tax relief, international film co-production treaties and through funding provided to Screen Ireland, which is the development agency for the Irish Film industry. On 10 April 2018, my Department published ‘Investing in our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018-2027’, as part of Project Ireland 2040. As part of a commitment of close to €1.2 billion in capital funding for culture and creativity over ten-year period, the Department allocated a €200 million investment in media production and the audio-visual industry within same the period. This funding, is being delivered through Screen Ireland whose change of name from the Irish Film Board in early 2018, acknowledges the widened remit of the agency to develop talent throughout all stages of the film making process, in film, television and animation. Within Screen Ireland, Screen Skills Ireland is responsible for investing in people and skills development for the screen sectors in Ireland. Screen Skills Ireland designs, develops and delivers industry-focused skills development initiatives, encompassing film, TV, animation, games and visual effects, for all roles from new entrants to company leaders. The continuing growth of the audiovisual industry in Ireland relies in part on the continued development of skills and the provision of training to workers in the sector. With its new role in relation to skills development as part of the section 481 application process, Screen Skills Ireland is working closely with companies right across Ireland, including in counties Carlow and Kilkenny to deliver on that objective.
The Report is available on my Department’s website at