Published: Mon, 06 January 2014
New SME funding tool becomes available
The Irish arts and culture sector could get a welcome EU funding bonus in the New Year under a newly approved €1.4 billion programme, according to Sean Kelly MEP.
The new Creative Europe programme will increase EU funding for culture, cinema, television, music, literature, performing arts, heritage and related areas over the next seven years.
“Europe’s cultural sector is an important one, employing 8.5 million people and generating 4 per cent of EU GDP, so it is extremely welcome that the new EU budget of over €1.4 billion for 2014-2020 will benefit it.
“I would urge Irish SMEs in the arts and culture sector to investigate the new funding mechanism for SMEs under Creative Europe. The new financial guarantee facility will enable small cultural and creative businesses to access up to €750 million in bank loans,” Mr Kelly said.
Creative Europe will provide funding for at least 250,000 artists and cultural professionals, 2,000 cinemas, 800 films and 4,500 book translations.
“It will also help cinemas and other audiovisual professionals adjust to the digital age,” said Mr Kelly who stressed the need to continue to reduce the excessive red tape and bureaucracy of previous programmes.
“Culture and creativity are most dynamic at local level and on a smaller scale. We must free culture and creativity from bureaucracy and red tape. Streamlining application procedures must be a top priority in the implementation of this programme.
“Artists, gamers, musicians, cinematographers and everyone in the creative sector should be focused on creativity and not overly burdened by red tape,” he said.
As a member of the Parliament’s Committee on Culture, Mr Kelly prepared a report on this initiative looks forward to it benefiting Irish Cultural bodies. Many of Mr Kelly’s proposals should be of particular benefit to Irish SMEs operating in these areas.
Information on Creative Europe can be obtained from the Arts Council or MEDIA Desk Ireland offices in Dublin.