Posted on Thursday 7 May 2015 by Ulster Business
Ulster University Chancellor James Nesbitt, Fiona McElroy and Dr Colm Murphy of Ulster University with a copy of the University's Honeycomb - Creative Works Framing your Future report. Picture: Mark Marlow/Harrisons
The film and broadcast industry needs more government support to secure the future of the sector in Northern Ireland over the coming years.
That is the finding of a new report from Ulster University which revealed that levels of government backing for film and broadcast companies are lower here than that offered to similar companies analysed in the west of Scotland and the Scottish Borders.
It said the additional support should be targeted at investment in new technology and skills development, particularly for freelancers.
The report – Framing your Future - also suggested help to develop business skills and start ups, to reduce reliance on the domestic market and to ensure that firms across NI can bid for their share of network production spend.
Dr Colm Murphy, Head of Film, Media and Journalism at Ulster University and co-author of the Framing your Future report, said the sector suffers from under-investment.
“The majority of companies are small and almost 50% rely on freelance skills to fulfil key contracts,” he said. “Most have little additional time or resource to enhance core business management, international networking or technical skills that would strengthen the companies and the local economy.
“Our report has highlighted the challenges faced by the sector and identifies some actions which could position creative industries as a whole in Northern Ireland more competitively, not just locally but also in export markets.”
The report, complied by Ulster University and launched by its Chancellor James Nesbitt, makes a series of recommendations on how the sector could be better supported and developed based on a detailed analysis of 87 companies. The Honeycomb – Creative Works initiative is managed by Ulster University and funded by the EU’s INTERREG IVA programme.