All eyes were on Wicklow as Hollywood movie stars and Oscar winning directors and producers came together to help launch the South Eastern Creative Corridor. The launch, which took place on the set of new movie I Kill Giants in Clermont, Wicklow County Campus, marked the first step in the programme which aims to create a vibrant, viable and growing creative Audio Visual industry cluster in the region.
The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) in Wicklow, in collaboration with Kilkenny, Carlow, Wexford and Tipperary Local Enterprise Offices succeeded in winning funding under the LEO Competitive Fund to implement the South Eastern Creative Corridor programme. The overall objective of the programme is to encourage and support entrepreneurs and established SMEs who can sell services or products to the film industry or are operating in the film sector, to grow their businesses, internationalise and create new jobs in the region. The participating companies will be supported through an extensive networking, mentoring and training programme including opportunities to access finance for their business plans.
The programme was launched by Oscar winning director Anders Walter and double Oscar winning producer Kim Magnusson along with young Hollywood superstars, Madison Wolfe, Rory Jackson and Sydney Wade. Other special guests on the day included Bryan Doyle Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council, Michael Brougham from Enterprise Ireland, Sheelagh Daly LEO Wicklow, Breege Cosgrave LEO Wexford, Ita Horan LEO Tipperary, Fiona Deegan LEO Kilkenny, Anna Byrne LEO Carlow, Vibeke Delahunt, Wicklow Film Commission and Lorraine Bowen from the Entrepreneurs Academy who is operating the programme on behalf of the LEOs.
Building on unique strengths of Wicklow’s film industry
Lending her Department’s support to the South Eastern Creative Corridor programme, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor said, “All of the regions in Ireland have core individual attributes that position them to be key contributors to Ireland’s economic growth and employment creation. Our focus for the regions is to harness the huge potential and particular opportunities through a collaborative approach to innovative projects that will result in more jobs. With the help of the five LEOs in the region, the South Eastern Creative Corridor programme will build on the unique strengths of the film industry in this region.”
The vision for the programme encompasses a broad range of activities categorised as Creative Industry that are related to audio visual production. Expressions of interest are being invited via the creative corridor website from enterprises/start-ups that wish to participate in the programme. One of the most exciting elements of the programme is the opportunity for applicants to avail of the €100,000 investment fund.
Commenting on the programme Sheelagh Daly, Head of Enterprise with the lead partner, LEO Wicklow, stated, “This is exciting for us and everyone involved and we are delighted to get started. We believe that the project has real potential to add value to the region, in addition to the LEO Grant Aid of €100,000, we also aim to create 40 new jobs in the region and get a minimum of 40 companies with strong growth potential to participate in the LEO mentoring programme by 2017. We are hoping to attract the best in the industry and look forward to the journey ahead, and to releasing our overall vision of creating an internationally recognised film industry cluster in the region.”
An official information event for the South Eastern Creative Corridor will take place on November 3 in Rathnew at the Wicklow County Campus where the best in the industry will come together to kick off what is set to be an action packed programme.