Dáil Éireann - Volume 528 - 14 December, 2000
Written Answers. - Film Industry.
Mr. Callely Mr. Callely
202. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands the supports available to the film and television production industry; the plans she has for the development  of this industry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30251/00]
Miss de Valera Miss de Valera
Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands (Miss de Valera): My Department is responsible for the certification of film projects availing of tax relief on investment under section 481 of the Taxes Consolidation Act, 1997. Since its inception in 1994, over 200 projects have been certified, involving some £400 million of section 481 investment and an Irish spend of over £460 million. Earlier this year, the Government extended the section 481 scheme for an unprecedented span of five years, to 2005. In the period 1994-99, the Irish Film Board has provided development loans in excess of £2.5 million and production loans of approximately £20 million. Screen Training Ireland training initiatives have been jointly funded from Exchequer funding – 25% – and the European Social Funding – 75%. Again, in the period 1994-99, the total funding to Screen Training Ireland was £3.8 million. This included a contribution of almost £1 million from FÁS. Since taking office, I have more than doubled the provision for the Irish Film Board, which will be £8.75 million for the year 2000.
Under its strategic plan for the Irish film industry, the Government has decided to assign the audiovisual industry a central place in Ireland's industrial policy through the co-ordinated commitment of the industrial agencies of the State, together with the Irish Film Board, to the development of the industry's full potential and in particular, to fostering strong indigenous companies in this sector.
Underpinned by the five-year extension of the section 481 tax scheme for investment in film, the Government, under the strategic plan devised for the Irish film industry, has approved the strengthening and enhancement of the Irish Film Board to address the strategic goals identified in the report of the Film Industry strategic review group. I am assigning substantially increased capital and staff resources, to the board for its new functions and later today the Irish Film Board (Amendment) Bill, 2000, which will increase the capital ceiling for the board from £30 million to £80 million is expected to complete Report and Final Stages in the Dáil.
Dáil Éireann 528 Written Answers. Film Industry.