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A dedicated film officer should be appointed to the county says Cllr

March 1st, 2024 7:30 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

The West Cork Film Studios opened in Skibbereen last summer. (Photo: Anne Minihane)

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CORK County Council is ‘missing a trick’ because it doesn’t have a dedicated film officer, according to a West Cork councillor.

At last week’s meeting of the local authority, Cllr Paul Hayes (Ind) raised this point as councillors were discussing recommendations for the 2024 Arts Grant Scheme.

While welcoming the funding for the scheme and the importance of it for the arts sector across the county, Cllr Hayes asked if the executive would consider appointing a dedicated film officer.

‘It’s been a number of years since Cork County Council actually had its own dedicated film officer.

We have all celebrated the fantastic achievements of people like Cork’s Cillian Murphy and others,’ said Cllr Hayes.

He pointed out that other local authorities like Donegal County Council promote film and film production in their county and that there is a massive amount of work being done by their dedicated film officer.

‘I think we are missing a trick here when we have fantastic initiatives like the West Cork Film Studio which opened in Skibbereen last year and the annual Fastnet Film Festival in Schull and there are lots of things happening in the county in relation to film production.’

He said having such an officer would be ‘massive boost’ for the county.

Figures from a 2023 Council report showed 208,604 people attended an arts event or festival and that €5,676.500.25 was the estimated spend in local communities by the 29 festival supported through the scheme.

A total budget of €166,000 has been provided for allocation in 2024, an increase of €40,000 on last year’s allocation.

According to a Council report, 244 applications were received representing the largest number of applications ever received to the scheme, and is an increase of 7% on the 2023 level.

Cllr Gobnait Moynihan (FF) said this showed arts grants are providing value for communities. ‘They have made them stretch and you can see value in that the report says it has €5.6m spend in the local economy,’ said Cllr Moynihan.

Cllr Karen Coakley (Ind) said there is much diversity in the arts and she is delighted to see more people getting involved in various groups throughout the county.

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