Screen Ireland plans ‘crew hubs’ in Limerick, Galway and Wicklow to sustain boom

Screen Ireland will create regional crew hubs in Limerick, Galway and Wicklow and invest €3 million in developing skills in film, television and animation as part of a three-year strategy to help the Irish industry sustain its current boom and grow further.

 

The State development agency will shortly announce details of the lead organisations that will work to improve the availability of skilled screen industry workers across Ireland at a time when record levels of production have led to crew shortages.

 

Screen Ireland chief executive Désirée Finnegan said the €1 million regional crew hubs would support existing and planned studio infrastructure, making them more attractive for international productions seeking to locate in Ireland. They will operate alongside two national talent academies – one focusing on film and television drama, the other on animation – in which €1.75 million is being invested.

“It’s definitely ambitious, but we want to do everything we can to build on the momentum we had before the pandemic,” Ms Finnegan said of Screen Ireland’s three-year plan.

The squeeze on skilled crew comes as the industry races to catch up on productions postponed by last year’s Covid-prompted hiatus and meet high levels of demand for content from big-spending streaming services.

The bottlenecks are “a global challenge from what we’ve been seeing”, said Ms Finnegan, speaking after a visit to the set of the Screen Ireland-backed drama series Holding, an ITV-commissioned adaptation of Graham Norton’s novel, which has been filming in west Cork with Virgin Media Television as co-production partner.

Posted: October 2021

(The Irish Times)