New €2m project to support Western Region’s Creative Sector

Western Development Commission leading new EU-funded project

Funding of €2m has just been announced for a new three-year project to support the creative industries sector in the Western Region.  Creative Momentum will support and connect creative enterprises across the West of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Sweden, Finland and Iceland.  The €2m in funding has been secured from the EU’s Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) Interreg programme. The transnational project will be led by the Western Development Commission (WDC), with NUI Galway also participating.

According to Paddy McGuinness, WDC Chairperson “Over the next three years creative enterprises from across the region – including craftspeople, designers, artists, filmmakers, app developers and musicians – will be able to access a range of new opportunities.  The wealth of creativity in the region means this sector holds great potential for sustainable job creation, including in rural areas.  Creative Momentum aims to help creatives at different stages in their business to take the next step; whether through training, innovation, networking or accessing international markets.”

Some of the supports that will be available include:
·         Mentoring on how to access export markets
·         Innovation support for new product/service ideas
·         Attending a creative industry event in Northern Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Iceland or Ireland
·         Exhibiting at a Trade Fair/Show/Festival anywhere in Europe
·         Producing a short ‘pitch video’

To access international audiences, creative enterprises can also create a free online profile on MyCreativeEdge.eu (www.mycreativeedge.eu) to showcase their work.  550 creatives have already signed up to the site which receives over 2,000 visits a month.

“We know that many working in the sector work alone, so creating opportunities and space for them to connect, both in person and online, will be central to Creative Momentum’s success,” added Ian Brannigan, WDC Acting CEO.  “We’ll be holding a series of information and networking events on different themes across the Western Region and would welcome any suggestions on future topics.”

Creative Momentum project activities will begin later this year.  For updates on future opportunities see www.mycreativeedge.eu and connect with us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/eucreative) and Twitter (@eucreative).

Contact:
Pauline White, Policy Analyst, WDC, 086 832 8055 or 094 986 1441

Notes to Editor:
Creative Momentum is among the first projects approved under the new Northern Periphery & Arctic (NPA) Programme 2014-2020.  The NPA is a cooperation between nine programme partner countries; Finland, Ireland, Sweden, the United Kingdom (Scotland and Northern Ireland), Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and Norway. The NPA 2014-2020 is part of the European Territorial Cooperation Objective, supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and ERDF equivalent funding from non EU partner countries.

Creative Momentum will be operated by six partner organisations across five regions:
1.       Western Development Commission (WDC), Ireland
2.       National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), Ireland
3.       North East Iceland Cultural Council, Iceland
4.       Armagh City, Craigavon and Banbridge Borough Council, Northern Ireland
5.       Technichus Mid-Sweden Ltd, Sweden
6.       Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Finland