The Irish Film Board (IFB) and the local film and TV tax incentive have survived a major review of public spending although the IFB’s 2010 budget has been cut by 5% to $28.4m (€19.3m).
The decision follows a detailed investigation into the importance of the Irish film and TV sectors to the economy. It was carried out after a report from the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes (An Bord Ship Nua), published in July, recommended scrapping the IFB, its fund and the film and TV tax incentive. It proposed the creation of a new enterprise development agency.
The IFB said that the investigation confirmed the importance of Ireland’s content production industries and the role that the organisation in developing the sector.
James Morris, IFB chairman, said: “I would like to acknowledge the role of the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism Martin Cullen in support the Irish film industry and the work of the IFB as the industry development agency.”
He added that the Government’s support was a “strong endorsement of the economic value of the film and TV production sector to the emerging digital economy.”
The Irish tax incentive for film and TV will also be retained until the end of 2012 in a bid to encourage productions to come to Ireland but also to ensure that any projects that do shoot in the country benefit the local economy.
Plans to abolish the IFB were met with outrage by the film and TV industries in Ireland. In October, actor Brendan Gleeson (pictured) was one of a number of key figures to appeal for the IFB and the Irish Arts Council in front of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Arts, Sport & Tourism.
A PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ survey, published earlier this year, valued the Irish audiovisual industry at $736.3m (€500m). It also provides jobs to more than 6,000 people.