The Irish Film Board is setto receive funding of $21.3m (Euros 19.659m) in 2007, it was revealed in nextyear's pre-budget spending estimates, published today by Ireland's Finance Minister, Brian Cowen. This represents a15% increase on the Board's allocation this year.

The Minister for Arts, Sport& Tourism, John O'Donoghue, said, 'This increase will enable the IrishFilm Board to continue with its essential role of developing and supporting theIrish film sector. The increased current allocation will facilitate the Boardin marketing Ireland as a film location and in particular will assist the work of the newlyopened office in Los Angeles inraising the profile of the Irish audiovisual industry abroad. This provisionunderlies the sustained Government support for the Board, which has seen itsallocation increase by 60% since 2002.'

The Irish arts, sport andtourism sectors have received considerable support from the present Governmentin terms of increased financial allocations.Since 2003 current funding has been increased by 43.4% or $155m (Euros 121m),while capital funding has been increased by a 147.5% or $228m (Euros 178m).Overall funding for the arts and culture division has increased 9% from $254.9m(Euros 198.7m) in 2006 to $277.4m (Euros 216.56m) in 2007.