Archive for November 24th, 2010

Hanafin’s Press Statement on Arts Funding

24th November 2010 by Maura McHugh

Deptment of Tourism, Culture and SportOver €360 million will be spent on capital projects across the Tourism, Culture and Sport sectors over the next four years said Minister Mary Hanafin T.D., today (24th November 2010) following the publication of details of the Governments National Recovery Plan. “This funding will enable us to complete the upgrading of tourist attractions, support continued investment in the film and audio-visual production sector and meet the commitments of the Department’s capital programmes in relation to the grants approved under the Sports Capital Programme, the Local Authority Swimming Pools Programme and the arts and culture infrastructure programmes.

All Government Departments are making their contribution towards the economic recovery and the Government has made some very difficult choices. The adjustments in allocations for the three sectors, while not easy, are proportionate and measured.

The savings in current spending for 2011 total €17million, of which €4million will be in administrative non-pay overheads. Total current spending across the three sectors will be in the order of €296million in 2011. Over the lifetime of the plan the Tourism, Culture and Sport areas will contribute savings of €76million in current expenditure.”

Minister Hanafin welcomed the clear recognition of the tourism industry in the National Recovery Plan as a labour-intensive sector that will provide job opportunities and foreign revenue earnings as the economy recovers. “

Our priority now is to continue to invest, upgrade and promote the tourism product in order to take advantage of the recovery.

In the coming years we will be focussing on upgrading major tourist attractions, developing a number of key iconic attractions, improving infrastructure in key growth areas such as walking, water-based activities, cycling and heritage. Investment will also continue to enhance and promote cultural tourism, eco tourism and conference business across the country.

Investment in ICT to achieve these objectives will also be prioritised.” Minister Hanafin said another key aspect of the plan is the steps which will be taken to liberalise visa restrictions for visitors from long haul markets. “All of the research points to a growth in tourism numbers from new markets, in particular India, China and the Gulf States.”

In relation to the hotel sector, there is a commitment to pursue legislation to overhaul and streamline the property revaluation process, as revaluation to date has resulted in significant reductions in commercial rates for hotel premises. The undertakings to maintain the lower VAT rate on labour intensive services and to introduce a new Business Investment Targeted Employment Scheme to replace BES are also very positive developments for this sector.

For many enterprises in the tourism and hospitality area currently facing cost and pricing pressures, the proposed measures in the National Recovery Plan designed to increase labour flexibility, through modification of the National Minimum Wage and a speedy review of the Joint Labour Committee Framework, will be welcomed.

“We are looking to increase visitor numbers to 8 million by 2015, which will have the potential to deliver up to 15,000 extra jobs directly in the sector.”

Minister Hanafin said investment in arts, culture and the film sectors in the 2005 to 2010 period is over €1.1bn. “In that time, there has been an unprecedented investment in national and regional arts and culture infrastructure, performance venues and film and TV production capacities.

Visitor numbers to the National Culture Institutions have grown by over 75% and participation rates in the culture and arts activities have increased. In the context of the four year plan, we will continue to prioritise capital investment in the film and audiovisual content production sector and maintain the exhibitions programmes at the National Cultural Institutions. We will complete the refurbishment of the Historic Wings of the National Gallery, the upgrade of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, and the upgrade of the National Museum on Kildare St. The digitisation programmes of key historic papers and collections will continue and,regionally, we will continue to invest to support the cultural tourism product, especially in the use and deployment of smart technologies.”

Day to day expenditure will be concentrated on national and regional venues, building excellent programming and leveraging the regional festivals programme. Through Culture Ireland, building on our arts and culture reputation abroad to grow further business and economic links and developing the cultural tourism product market for the home and international markets.

The funding being allocated to the sport sector over the lifetime of the plan will assist the Irish Sports Council in their support for a range of existing programmes. Minister Hanafin said “sport is an integral part of Irish life and culture, and participation in all sports has a positive effect of individuals’ health and wellbeing. The fact that a local town, club or county is competing in sports is also a matter of immense pride and the positive impact of this cannot be lost sight of in the current national climate. Support for our elite athletes is also funded through the Irish Sports Council and in the past week I received the submission on behalf of the Governing bodies for Sport in Ireland which highlighted how sport matters to our health, economy, tourism and our communities.”

Artists’ Tax Exemption: 40K

24th November 2010 by Maura McHugh

Dail Eireann

Today the Irish government announced its National Recovery Plan 2011-2014 to cope with our current financial crisis.

There are many tough measures being introduced, but of particular interest to writers is the lowering of the cap on the Artists’ Exemption from Income Tax to €40,000 in earnings.

It’s under 6.6 General Tax Expenditures, on page 96 of the document.

Gearrscannain Wanted

24th November 2010 by Maura McHugh

Irish Film BoardBord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board is delighted to announce that applications are being sought for the new short film scheme ‘Gearrscannáin’. Applications will be accepted until 17th December 2010.

‘Gearrscannáin’ is a new short film scheme to produce Irish language short films that will appeal to a general audience. The scheme aims to encourage fresh, new directorial voices willing to take risks, challenge audiences and introduce them to interesting themes which will move them. Whilst aiming to engage a diverse viewership, the films should also be able to be rated for an under 15 audience. Applications must be original stories written in the Irish language. Short films already submitted to the IFB in English will not be eligible. This scheme will be primarily distributed on-line.

The deadline for Gearrscannáin is Friday 17th December 2010

Number of films to be funded: 2
Duration: Approx. 8 minutes
Budget amount: Maximum €10,000 per film
Format: Any high quality digital format
Language: Irish language

All applications should be sent to: Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, Queensgate, 23 Dock Road, Galway

More information about the scheme along with detailed guidelines and application forms are available on the web site.

Please read guidelines carefully before making an application.


Tá áthas ar Bhord Scannán na hÉireann iarratais a éileamh don chéad bhabhta eile den scéim an-rathúil ‘Gearrscannáin‘. Is é an Aoine 17 Nollaig 2010 an spriocdháta nua don scéim.

Scéim nua í ‘Gearrscannáin’ a bhfuil sé mar sprioc aici gearrscannáin as Gaeilge a sholáthar, a mbeidh tarraingt acu do lucht féachana ginearálta. Tá sé mar chuspóir ag an scéim go spreagfaí stiúrthóirí úra chun dul i bpriacal, chun dushlán a thabhairt don lucht féachana agus chun téamaí suimiúla a rachaidh i bhfeidhm orthu a chur os a gcomhair. Cé gur chóir go mbeidh sé mar aidhm ag na scannáin freastal ar lucht féachana fairsing, ba chóir go mbeidh siad in ann grádú ‘faoi 15′ a bhaint amach. Ní mór gur bunscéalta as Gaeilge atá sna hiarratais. Ní ghlacfar le gearrscannáin a cuireadh chuig BSÉ/IFB i mBéarla cheana. Déanfar an scéim a sholáthar ar-líne den chuid is mó.

S’é an Aoine 17 Nollaig 2010 an spriocdháta do ‘Gearrscannáin’

Líon na scannán: 2
Fad: Timpeall 8 nóiméad
Buiséad: Uasmhéid de €10,000 in aghaidh an scannáin
Formáid: Aon fhormáid dhigiteach d’ardchaighdeán
Teanga: Gaeilge

Ba chóir gach iarratas a sheoladh chuig: Bord Scannán na hÉireann, Geata na Banríona, 23 Bóthar na Duganna, Gaillimh.

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