The Arts Council has welcomed a report commissioned by the Western Development Commission (WDC) highlighting the potential for a doubling of the workforce employed in the creative sector over the next 10 years.
Speaking at the Arts Council meeting in Limerick today (5 July 2011) Arts Council Chairman Ms Pat Moylan said the potential of innovation and creativity for Ireland was enormous and Farmleigh 2 this autumn should concentrate fully on the opportunities.
"In the Council's policy discussions over the two days here in Limerick, there was a clear acknowledgement by members that the arts underpin the creative and cultural industries and we are acutely aware of potential that exists to create greater synergies between the business and arts sectors. This is an area of great significance for the arts and for potential sustainable employment."
Ms Moylan said she is midway through meetings with a number of the state’s development agencies, "to explore ways in which we can work together across key areas, among them the development of employment opportunities for the highly skilled and talented people in the arts and associated creative industries - particularly in the gaming and entertainment sectors."
The WDC report sees creativity as a major jobs driver that could lead to €150 million in additional exports per annum from the sector in the West. The report is a follow up to the WDC’s Creative West report published in February 2009, which in itself established the creative economy in the western region of Ireland as having 4,775 businesses employing 11,000 people directly.
The Arts Council welcomed the WDC Economic Impact Assessment report saying: "The arts can contribute to Ireland’s reputation as one of the world’s most creative and innovative economies. Ireland needs to be committed to actively looking at ways to support the creative and cultural industries in Ireland."
The WDC report was carried out by researchers at NUI Galway. The research report is entitled Economic Impact Assessment. The Creative Sector in the Western Region. Future Growth.
The Director of the Arts Council, Ms Mary Cloake said: "Artists have much to offer the business community. They can assist in building new and distinctive enterprises. The Arts Council can play a central role in assisting this process."
A 2009 Indecon Report on the economic value of the arts, commissioned by the Arts Council, underlines strongly the connection between the arts and creative industries.