Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Rural Communities-Guided Tour

This guided tour of community energy projects in Belmullet, Co Mayo is being hosted by Dr Orla Nic Suibhne from the Western Development Commission and is supported by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and IT Sligo. It is one of the community energy awareness events that the NPA funded LECo (Local Energy Communities) project is rolling out.

It will include building insulation, heating and lighting upgrades, Solar PV and battery storage, Electric Vehicles, Heat Pump systems and a viewing of the proposed wave energy test site and substation. Lunch and a bus will be provided on the day.

For more information please click here

West of Ireland-set thriller with Cosmo Jarvis and Barry Keoghan to begin shooting in Galway and Clare

‘CALM WITH HORSES’, the feature debut of Nick Rowland starring Cosmo Jarvis, Barry Keoghan and Niamh Algar which is set to shoot in the West of Ireland in May in co-production with Element Pictures.  Altitude Film Distribution will partner with Element Pictures Distribution for the film’s release in the UK and Ireland.  Film4 will finance production along with the Irish Film Board and the newly announced Western Region Audiovisual Producer’s Fund (WRAP Fund).

DMC Film, the production company founded by Michael Fassbender and Conor McCaughan, and producer Daniel Emmerson have developed the project with Film4 as Nick Rowland’s feature directorial debut following Slap his BAFTA and BIFA-nominated short film.

CALM WITH HORSES is based on a novella from the acclaimed collection of short stories Young Skins by Irish writer Colin Barrett from Mayo. The collection won The Guardian’s first book award and the Frank O’Connor Short Story Prize. Writer Joe Murtagh has adapted the screenplay and has collaborated with Rowland since they studied together at the NFTS. Rowland, Murtagh and Emmerson have all featured in Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow showcase.

In darkest rural Ireland, ex-boxer Arm has become the feared enforcer for the drug-dealing Devers family, whilst also trying to be a good father to his autistic five-year-old son, Jack. Torn between these two families, Arm is asked to kill for the first time, and his attempt to do the right thing endangers everyone he holds dear.

Cosmo Jarvis starred in the BAFTA nominated breakout success Lady Macbeth released by Altitude as well as Alex Garland’s Annihilation.

One of the industry’s rising screen stars, Barry Keoghan recently starred in Lance Daly’s Black 47 which premiered in selection at Berlin.  Altitude is also representing the film for international sales and distribution in the UK.  Keoghan can also been seen in Bart Layton’s Sundance Grand Prize-nominated American Animals, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

Niamh Algar won the Best Supporting Actress at the Irish Film and Television Awards (2017) for her performance in Nick Kelly’s The Drummer and the Keeper, and is known for her lead role in Lorcan Finnegan’s Without Name which received its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (2016). She will also star in Shane Meadows’ upcoming TV series, The Virtues.

About The WRAP Fund

The Western Regional Audiovisual Producer’s Fund (WRAP Fund) is a new initiative of the Western Development Commission and Galway Film Centre in association with the local authorities of Clare, Donegal, Galway City, Galway County, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo along with Údarás na Gaeltachta, set up to support film, television, animation and gaming industries in the Western region of Ireland. The WRAP Fund is committed to strategic investment that encourages regional production and development activity across the audiovisual sectors, to support local talent, create sustainable employment, build the audio-visual infrastructure and contribute to the cultural veracity of the region.  Launched in late 2017, CALM WITH HORSES is the first project supported by the WRAP Fund. The production will film in two WRAP counties – Galway and Clare.

New research on Economic & Social Impact of the West of Ireland creative sector

National University of Ireland, Galway has recently published a series of reports ‘Economic & Social Impact Assessment’ of the creative sector in five different regions across Europe’s Northern Edge including the West of Ireland.  The five reports are available to download here:

Funded through the EU Northern Periphery & Arctic (NPA) Programme co-funded ‘a creative momentum project’, the research was conducted by Dr Patrick Collins, Dr Aisling Murtagh and Dr Ben Breen of NUIG’s Whitaker Institute and Discipline of Geography. The WDC is lead partner for this transnational project.

Silvia Guglielmini, WDC; Aisling Murtagh, NUIG; Pat Collins, NUIG; Pauline White, WDC; Leo Scarff; Leo Scarff Design at the launch of the assessment report. Photo Credit: Brad Anderson, Photo One Photography

As the report states, assessing the value of the creative sector (defined in the report as Advertising, Animation, Architecture, Craft, Cultural Facilities, Design, Film, Games, IT and Computer Services, Marketing, Music, Performing Arts, Photography, Publishing, Radio, Software, TV and Visual Arts) is a complex task.

Combining existing knowledge and official statistics, with survey data (152 respondents made some reply to the online survey) and in-depth interviews with nine creative sector entrepreneurs from the region, the impact assessment presents key economic estimates but also goes beyond traditional economic measures to encompass a wider socio-economic focus.

Economic Impacts

Sales

Total direct sales of the creative sector in the Western Region amounted to €486.2 million in 2016. Making use of a multiplier, the researchers derived a total value of the sector to the Western Region of €729.2 million.

Average company sales differ across sub-sectors. The sub-sector which the researchers designate as ‘creative industries’ (Media/Advertising, Architecture/Design, R&D, Professional Services, Software & App Development) reports average sales close to twice that of enterprises in the ‘craft industries’ (Traditional Craft, Print & Recorded Media Production, Electronic Manufacturing, Other Manufacturing) and ‘cultural industries’ (Performing Arts & Education, Publishing, Film & TV).

Exports

46% of survey respondents derived some portion of their sales from exports. Across the sector this accounted for 18% of direct sales or €87.4 million. Smaller and younger companies were least likely to export their produce.

Length of establishment

The sub-sector which the researchers designate as ‘creative industries’ is the youngest sub-sector with more than half of operations surveyed less than five years old and close to 10% had been in existence for less than one year.

Employment

The analysis found that the overall creative sector in the Western Region consists of a large number of small and micro enterprises with an average of 2.6 employees per firm.

Official statistics from the CSO indicate that a total of 12,871 people were employed in the sector in the Western Region in 2015. The largest sub-sector was ‘creative industries’ (57.3%, 7,380) followed by ‘cultural industries’ (30%, 3,847) and ‘craft industries’ (12.7%, 1,644). Geographically, employment was concentrated in counties Galway (22%), and Donegal (18%).

The results of the survey suggest that employment in the overall creative sector grew in recent years. Employment in ‘cultural industries’ increased by 2.3% (2012-2015) while in ‘creative industries’ there was stronger growth of 15.8%. ‘Craft industries’ however showed no significant change.

Infographic of Economic Impacts of Creative Sector in West of Ireland

Social Impacts

The report authors note that studies have found the creative sector has a range of wider benefits and spill-over impacts. Such benefits are difficult to measure precisely, but their assessment suggests the contribution is significant. A range of wider socio-economic contributions from the creative sector in the Western Region are examined in the report:

Place-based impacts

  • The creative sector is locally embedded, facilitating strong local economy value capture. But it is also internationally and globally focused, supporting economic growth. The creative sector can contribute to re-inventing perceptions of peripheral regions as attractive, creative places to live, work and visit.
  • The qualities of creative sector entrepreneurs are an asset that facilitate harnessing of local opportunities, such as from place-based resources including culture, traditions, landscape and heritage.

Human and social capital impacts

  • Inter-sectoral mobility of creative labour, as well as strong knowledge transfer to emerging talent and other entrepreneurs, strengthens the human resource capacity of the region.
  • The open and collaborative approach of creative sector entrepreneurs builds a supportive entrepreneurial environment aligned with the concept of ‘coopetition’.
  • Creative sector entrepreneurs also contribute to positive social and community impacts.

Infographic of Socio-economic impacts of creative sector

To support the consideration of the socio-economic impacts of the sector three case studies are included in the assessment:

  • Festival impacts: Willie Clancy Summer School
  • Arts impacts: Gaeltacht areas in the Western Region
  • Tourism Impacts: Creative and cultural assets

Conclusion

The analysis suggests the creative sector has significant economic and social value in the Western Region of Ireland. It highlights the important role of the creative sector in supporting more balanced, sustainable development in peripheral and rural regions. The sector’s structure, composed of small locally engaged businesses, is an important part of its value.

Placing the creative sector as part of a regional development strategy can support a move away from reliance on service and primary sectors and towards a more diversified economy focusing on new sources of economic competitiveness. Synergies between the creative sector and other indigenous industry sectors, such as agriculture, the marine and tourism, provide avenues for exploration to support future sustainable growth.

The researchers conclude by noting that this is a one off report based on limited evidence. Better evidence can help to identify benefits of particular creative sub-sectors so local agencies can focus on sectors which best address specific local development needs.  To more fully capture the value and needs of the creative sector regularly published official statistics measuring key socio-economic indicators by region and creative sector are needed.

Download the report here

Pauline White

Presentations from ‘a creative momentum project’ closing event

We’re coming to the end of ‘a creative momentum project’. After three years of working together to implement the project, it’s now time to finish up activities and look back on what we’ve achieved – as well as plan for the future!

We had originally planned an international closing conference in Ireland on 1 March, where project partners from Finland, Northern Ireland, Sweden, as well as Ireland, would share their experiences of the last three years. Unfortunately the weather beat us, and we had to cancel the conference because of ‘Storm Emma’ and a Red weather alert.

Undaunted, project administrator Silvia Guglielmini set about organising something a little different for the closing event. As the partners from Finland, Northern Ireland and Sweden were sadly not able to travel to Ireland again, it had to be a far more ‘West of Ireland’ affair. So on Thursday 12 April our lunchtime ‘closing event’ took place at Electric Galway (for anyone who’s ever been ‘out’ in Galway, it used to be CPs!!).

For more information please click here

Panel discussion at ‘a creative momentum project’ closing event

On Thursday 12 April our lunchtime ‘closing event’ for ‘a creative momentum project’ took place at Electric Galway. Following a number of presentations about the project’s outputs, we held a panel discussion on ‘Creativity & Peripherality in the West of Ireland – how does the picture look?’ featuring creative entrepreneurs and support agencies from across the West of Ireland.

Pat Collins, NUI Galway;
Ruth Graham, Ruth Graham Illustration;
Éamonn O’Sullivan, Hewn Spoons;
Sarah Dillon, Development Manager, The WRAP Fund;
Sallyann Marron, Sallyann’s Bags;
Manus Burke, Howling Hamster;
Siobhán Mulcahy, Co Clare Arts Officer

Chaired by Leitrim-based designer Leo Scarff, the panel discussion covered a range of issues facing creative enterprises operating from the West of Ireland. The discussion opened with the four creative entrepreneurs sharing their experiences.

For more information please click here

Sarah Dillon appointed as new Development Manager of the WRAP Fund

Galway Film Centre is delighted to announce the appointment of Sarah Dillon as the Development Manager of The WRAP Fund. The Western Regional Audiovisual Producer’s Fund (WRAP) is an initiative of Galway Film Centre and the Western Development Commission in association with the local authorities of Clare, Donegal, Galway City, Galway County, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo along with Údarás na Gaeltachta, set up to support film, television, animation and gaming industries in the region.

Having worked as part of the core creative team with the Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann for over ten years, Ms Dillon has gained an in-depth knowledge of the Irish and international audiovisual industries. She brings with her a complete understanding of the process of development, financing, production and distribution as well as an extremely diverse network of contacts from local and international content producers to financiers, sales agents and distributors.

The role will include the promotion of the WRAP Fund to identify suitable projects, evaluating applications for funding, and supporting local producers and talent to grow and advance their projects within the audio-visual sector.

Celine Curtin, chair of Galway Film Centre, added “We are delighted that we can announce that someone of Sarah’s calibre has taken up this new position. She has a wealth of experience across feature film, television drama and animation and has been involved in multiple projects from script to screen, and we see her appointment as an important step forward in the development of the creative industries in the West.”

Ian Brannigan, Chief Executive of the Western Development Commission, commented: “We knew from when we first started exploring the idea of a regional support fund with Galway Film Centre that it was crucial that we find the right individual to take the helm. Sarah has a very broad skill set from assessing scripts to complex contracting, and has many existing strong relationships in the audio-visual industry, which will serve her well in her new role. We wish her all the best and are very pleased that we can now say that the WRAP Fund is officially open for business.”

Ms Dillon will take up her new appointment at the beginning of April and the first call for applications to The WRAP Fund will be announced in the coming months.
See also: www.galwayfilmcentre.ie
#WRAPfund #CeantarScannán

#WestCommutes Photo Competition

Swim, hike or kite surf to work? Do you avoid traffic jams and packed trains by commuting on horseback or climbing into a canoe? Regularly get stuck in livestock traffic jams?

If your commute is out of the ordinary, we’d like to see what it looks like and hear about your experiences. Show us with your pictures or videos why living and working in the West offers an incredible quality of life.

We have a brilliant prize to give away for the best entry.

How To Enter:

  1. Snap a photo or video of your West of Ireland journey
  2. Upload a photo (or video) to social media using the #WestCommutes + #County hashtags e.g. #WestCommutes #Galway
  3. Tag our @LookWestie accounts in your post. (Instagram / Twitter / Facebook)
  4. You can also enter your photo via the form at the end of this page.

 

One Region One Vision Conference Video Highlights

For 2018 the Western Region will be recognised as European Entrepreneurial Region. Recognising the success of our indigenous and small enterprises. Our commitment to innovation will see us become one of the most resilient places in Europe.

The One Region One Vision Conference took place in Galway on November 28th.

The Western Development Commission (WDC) was delighted to collaborate on this conference with the North Western Regional Assembly.

According to the CEO of the WDC , Ian Brannigan, “The Western region is entering a period of real growth and as such the bringing together of key regional stakeholders and businesses is essential to optimise this opportunity. The One region One vision provides a forum for change for the region “.

One Region One Vision celebrated achievement, whilst also promoting investment in our competitiveness through Structural Funds and launching our Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy. The Conference was concluded by the Chairperson of the WDC Dr Deirdre Garvey.

So get your 2018 moving by watching the One Region One Vision inspirational speakers including Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Harry Hughes of PortWest, Mary Rodgers (Portershed), Adrian Weckler (INM) and many more.

 

Loans available for community and not-for-profit groups at lower interest rate

  • The Western Development Commission (WDC) reduces interest rate on its Community Loan Fund to 3%
  • The fund has supported 43 projects and 867 jobs in 10 years

The Western Development Commission (WDC) will reduce the interest rate it charges on its Community Loan Fund to 3% from January 1.

This lower interest rate — down from 5% — will be available for community projects and social enterprises in the Western Region.

The fund has supported 43 projects over the 10 years since it was launched and it also supports 867 jobs, representing people employed by or in the various projects, in the Western Region.

Each year, more than 300,000 people use the facilities and/or centres supported by the fund, run by the WDC.

The WDC is a statutory body that was set up to promote both social and economic development in the Western Region. It covers Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Roscommon, Galway and Clare.

The WDC’s Community Loan Fund has been designed to offer community and not-for-profit groups access to capital to help these groups improve the socio-economic life of their community.

Many projects can be supported — from job creation initiatives, including the provision of enterprise space, to health and wellbeing initiatives, which improve the physical environment by providing social and recreational amenities or social care services.

Gillian Buckley, Western Development Commission, Investment Manager, said:

“The WDC is offering this low interest rate as it understands how important community projects and social enterprises are to their communities and the region. The loans can be used to create much needed social and economic facilities, such as social housing, childcare, eldercare, sports and recreation and many other projects. This low interest rate will help make these projects more sustainable by reducing the cost of repayments. The loans can also be used to provide and support employment opportunities and attract tourists to rural areas.”

 For more information, contact Gillian Buckley on + 353 87 2236 982

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

  • Organisations applying for the Community Loan Fund now will be granted the reduced interest rate of 3%.
  • The WDC Community Loan Fund supports 867 jobs. This number represents those employed by or in the projects e.g. some projects supported are enterprise centres, so the number includes some people employed in those enterprise centres.

 

More people living in the Western Region now leave the Region for work

More people living in the Western Region now leave the Region for work – analysis of Census data by the WDC shows

  • 7 out of every 10 workers (71.5%) living in the Western Region, work within the Region a decline since 2011 when 73.2% of workers in the Western Region found work in the Region.
  • Over 4,200 Western Region residents travel to work in Dublin, up by 16.9% since 2011.
  • In 2016 there was a net loss of 17,565 workers who leave the Region to work elsewhere.
  • Compared to 2011, this is an increase in the number of workers leaving the Region to work, when there was a net loss of -14,939 residents working outside of the Region.

 Of the workplace destinations outside the Western Region, the five counties of Limerick (7,948), Westmeath (4,500), Dublin (4,258), Derry (2,986) and Longford (1,730) are the most significant workplaces.

 Over 4,500 workers living in the Western Region work abroad (4,661).

Some specific county findings available at the links below:

Donegal: Close to 3,000 County Donegal residents work in Derry. (2,965).

Donegal Download the WDC Insights County Donegal Place of Residence and Place of Work here (PDF 0.2MB each):

Galway city has a net gain of nearly 16,000 workers, of which a large proportion is likely to come from county Galway where there was a net loss of just over 16,000. Galway City Download the WDC Insights Galway City Place of Residence and Place of Work here (PDF 0.2MB each):

County Galway: One quarter of County Galway residents (25.3%) work in Galway city. Download the WDC Insights Galway County Place of Residence and Place of Work here (PDF 0.2MB each):

Leitrim: In 2016, 14.3% of workers in County Leitrim lived in County Roscommon. Download the WDC Insights County Leitrim Place of Residence and Place of Work here (PDF 0.2MB each):

Mayo: County Dublin was the place of work for 579 County Mayo residents in 2016. Download the WDC Insights County Mayo Place of Residence and Place of Work here (PDF 0.2MB each):

Roscommon: Over 1,000 (1,034) workers in County Roscommon live in County Galway. Download the WDC Insights County Roscommon Place of Residence and Place of Work here (PDF 0.2MB each):

 Sligo: Apart from Galway city, County Sligo was the only area with a net gain in working population in 2016 (+528). Download the WDC Insights County Sligo Place of Residence and Place of Work here (PDF 0.2MB each):

 According to Deirdre Frost, Policy Analyst, “The trends suggest that while there is an increase in the number of Western Region residents in work, it is also clear that a greater number are commuting to work to places beyond the Western Region. Enterprise and employment policy should aim to provide more employment opportunities closer to where people live.”

 Download this WDC Insights

https://www.wdc.ie/publications/reports-and-papers/