Ulster Unionist Culture, Arts & Leisure spokesperson Michael McGimpsey has welcomed news that the creative industries in Northern Ireland and the border counties are to get a £3.5 million funding boost from the EU, Northern Ireland departments and the Republic’s government.
Mr McGimpsey said: “The creative industries cover a range of areas such as architecture, publishing, radio and TV, design, film, music, crafts and performing arts and they offer huge potential for jobs and employment in Northern Ireland, especially amongst our young people who are often the most creative and innovative in society. A recent example is the hugely successful Game of Thrones which has generated over £40 million of expenditure in our local economy.
However, we still lag behind the rest of the UK in terms of our creative industries making a smaller contribution to total employment and Gross Value Added (GVA).
This £3.5 million of EU funding can only assist us to continue to grow and develop this key sector which will be of increasing importance in the coming years and we must ensure our young people are equipped with the skills they need to compete in the job market of the 21stCentury.”