Tax incentives for the film, television, and animation industry are to be extended until 2020, in a move broadly welcomed by the industry in Ireland.
Prior to the budget, representatives from the industry had lobbied that there could be significant job losses if the Government chose to scrap incentives.
The Irish film and television industry has flourished in recent years, with Hollywood blockbusters like Steven Soderberg’s Haywire; Albert Nobbs, starring Glenn Close; and This Must Be The Place with Sean Penn all being shot on these shores.
Television has also fared well, with huge productions like The Tudors, Camelot, and Game of Thrones all filmed in Ireland.
Commenting on the tax incentives extension, the chairman of Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, James Morris, said it demonstrated the Government’s commitment to the future of the film and television sector, and Ireland’s creative industries.
“Despite the economic difficulties Ireland has experienced over the past few years the Irish film, television, and animation industry has experienced high levels of production activity, contributing over €150m, in terms of Irish spend on jobs and services, to the Irish economy in 2011,” he said.
The Audiovisual Federation, the Ibec group that represents the feature film, television, and animation sectors, also broadly welcomed the announcement.
Its director, Torlach Denihan, said the retention of the incentive was crucial to protecting jobs and ensuring further growth in the sector.
“Extension of Section 481 film tax relief to 2020 provides the greater certainty for international productions thinking of filming in Ireland. We also welcome the minister’s commitment to enhance the scheme to make Ireland even more attractive for foreign film and TV production.
“Section 481 has been crucial to the audiovisual sector’s growth from 700 jobs 20 years ago to over 6,000 jobs today, and the sector has significant further potential,” he said.
Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan also welcomed the announcement and confirmed funding of more than €60m for the Arts Council for 2013. However, spending on arts, culture, and film is to be cut by €5.4m.
“This year alone, a number of significant productions are filming in Ireland, including Vikings, with a spend in Ireland of €25m, and Ripper Street with a spend of almost €11m. The extension of the scheme is important for Ireland, for both the jobs that are supported by this sector and our location as a place for film and audiovisual investment,” he said.
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