Cultural and creative industries valued at 7.6% of GNP and employment at 8.7% of total - recent research.
4.2.3 Cultural/creative industries: policies and programmes
The difficulty in presenting coherent data on the size and economic impact of the culture industries will be apparent: 2009 research on the Economic Impact of the Cultural Sector by DKM Economic Consultants, cited by the Minister in September, 2009, placed the value of the cultural and creative industries at EUR 11.8 billion or 7.6% of GNP. It estimates employment at 170 000 or 8.7% of total employment. All this constituted the return on direct exchequer expenditure of EUR 330 million. These figures are significantly in excess of those quoted in the 2007 Eurostat Pocketbook on Cultural Statistics which places employment at 48 000, or 2.5% of the total workforce, in 2005. The economic impact study commissioned from Indecon by the Arts Council (November, 2009) estimated employment in the creative industries at 95 649 and the Gross Value Added of the sector at EUR 5 479 million. The variation in these statistics may perhaps be attributed to definitional issues.
While the economic spin-offs of cultural activity have long been a factor in motivating government involvement in arts promotion, economic arguments are once again coming to the fore in defence of the arts in the current economic crisis. Both the Minister (Global Economic Conference, September 2009 and 2011) and the Director of the Arts Council (Theatre Forum Conference, June 2009) have highlighted the necessity to invest in the arts and cultural tourism as part of a strategy for economic recovery. In addition some of the national cultural institutions have produced economic impact studies to determine their impact on the Irish economy.
The Innovation Taskforce Report of March, 2010 recommended that the importance of the arts, humanities and social sciences to the innovation ecosystem be promoted and that opportunities be sought to increase synergies between these and the scientific and technological disciplines. While there is no overall framework of provisions, a number of economic organisations such as IBEC's (Irish Business and Employers Confederation) Audiovisual Federation represent the interests of creative industry sub-sectors.
Some features of the Irish arts environment support the arts and culture industries generally e.g. the fairly unique tax regime for artists resident in Ireland (introduced in the 1969 Finance Act), which enables all working artists to apply for tax exemptions on the income derived from their creative work (see chapter 5.1.5). In the same way, the fluidity of boundaries between the arts generally and certain culture industries particularly, means that public funds disbursed by the Arts Council have an impact, albeit indirect, on the industrial sector.
A number of initiatives support specific culture industries. The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht provides funding for and works in close co-operation with the Irish Film Board which is responsible for the development and promotion of the Irish film industry. The tax incentive scheme operated by the Department supported 32 projects so far in 2012, representing an investment of EUR 88.9 million. This scheme has supported 640 projects since its inception in 1994. The Film Board provides loans and equity investment to independent Irish film makers to assist the development and production of Irish films and cooperates with other semi-states to improve marketing, sales and distribution. A 2008 survey conducted by the Film Board showed that the Irish audio-visual sector was valued at EUR 557.3 million and employed over 6 000 people. Screen Training Ireland provides training for the industry (see chapter 4.2.9).
The publishing industry in Ireland produces fewer titles per head of population than almost any country in the EU. This can be attributed to the penetration of British publishing houses, their success in attracting Irish authors, the huge mark-up by Irish book retailers and the poor readership levels of Irish people. There have been calls for dedicated nurturing of Irish publishing to address these issues. Translation funds are provided through Ireland Literature Exchange for the publishing sector.
A range of reports published in the past decade address the development needs of the creative industries and their contribution to the Irish economy, thus enabling more informed policy making and targeted investment by government agencies.
A number of third-level institutions (Universities and Institutes of Technology) run training courses to primary degree level and beyond for people interested in employment in the music, film and multimedia industries.