The WRAP Fund Welcomes Minister Paschal Donohue’s Announcement of the Extension of the Regional Film Development Uplift for West of Ireland Productions & the Inclusion of Games for S481.
The Western Region Audiovisual Producer’s Fund (WRAP) applauds today’s Budget 2021 announcement by Minister Paschal Donohue to extend the Regional Film Development Uplift (Uplift) at the top rate of an additional 5% for a further year until 2021 and the planned inclusion of games within the Section 481 Tax Credit. This demonstrates the governments commitment to the Audiovisual sector and the regions.
As one of thirty members of the Western AV Forum, WRAP advocated for support of the regional film, television, animation and games sectors and the extension of the Uplift in its Pre-Budget Submission. As the only Fund available to the games sector in Ireland, WRAP has always recognised its creative and economic potential. The planned development of a tax credit for digital games will see the many games creators in the West of Ireland thrive.
The introduction of the Uplift in mid 2019 provided a critical boost to the West of Ireland, supporting the development and the growth of the Audiovisual sector. This potential is reflected in recent WRAP supported projects including Calm With Horses, Death Of A Ladies Man, Smother, The Winter Lake, Two By Two Overboard and Wild Mountain Thyme which have generated combined expenditure of over €9.5million in the region. The continuation of the Uplift at the maximum amount will not only give a degree of certainty to the sector having faced the extraordinary challenges of the Covid19 pandemic but will also support local production companies in bringing more stories to the screen and provide regional talent, cast and crew with greater opportunities.
The Uplift of an additional 5% on the standard 32% is available to qualifying projects under the Section 481 Film Tax Credit undertaking substantial production in the WRAP region of Clare, Donegal, Galway City and County, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo. Due to decrease to 3% in 2021, the update to the incentive means that 37% is available until 2021 (35% in 2022, 34% in 2023). Productions (feature film, television drama, animation and creative documentary) will be required to provide training and skills development opportunities for individuals habitually resident in the area and such training should address a skills deficit.
The restoration of funding to TG4, our fellow Western AV Forum Member, and increased support for Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland are also very positive results for the Audiovisual sector.
Sarah Dillon, Development Manager of the WRAP Fund, welcomed the Budget 2021 news “the continuation of the Section 481 Regional Film Development Uplift at 5% and the addition of digital games to the Government’s agenda is very welcome and important news for the Region. We can now hope to capitalise on the lost benefits of the Uplift as a result of the Covid19 pandemic. In addition to the enhanced funding for TG4 and Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, these incentives are critical to the sustainability of the indigenous film, television, animation and games industry in the West and in supporting the development of local talent. WRAP would like to thank the Department of Finance and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media for their continued support of the sector and also our fellow members of the Western AV Forum for their work on supporting the local industry”.
The Western Region Audiovisual Producers Fund (WRAP Fund) is an 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, Sligo and Údarás na Gaeltachta.