A NEW three-year strategy to build a strong creative and digital economy in Donegal was officially launched in the Regional Cultural Centre last week.
The vision of the Strategic Action Plan for Creative Entrepreneurship 2019-2022 by Creative Coast Donegal is to build robust, confident, financially viable and collaboration-friendly businesses.
Michael Tunney, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Donegal, who explained some of the key elements of the plan to invited guests, said the vision also was that these creative businesses would impact positively on the local economy in terms of job creation, as well as being pro-active and competitive on an international stage.
The launch in the RCC was also a celebration of the ‘Generate Programme for creative industries in Donegal and Mayor of the Letterkenny Municipal District, Cllr John O’Donnell, said he was delighted to see such a thriving interest in the creative industries in the county.
The programme was a pilot initiative from the LEO that saw Creative Industries Specialist David Parrish, engage on a one to one basis with businesses in the county over the past two and a half years.
“It was different from anything we had done before and from the outset a key element of the programme was to have 15 jobs at the end,” Mr Tunney said.
He added that he was delighted to announce that, not only had that target been exceeded, that there was a potential for more jobs from the businesses soon.
That was confirmed on the night by David Parrish who said had been very impressed by the creative talent he had witnessed in the county when he had first visited, adding he was delighted to have had the opportunity to work with so many businesses over the past two years.
“I think the Local Enterprise Office deserves great praise for having the initiative to run such an innovative pilot programme. Of course, I was always very aware of the target of 15 jobs so I am delighted to report that we have managed 17 with a further 12 in the pipeline, which is a great return for those businesses.”
The development of robust and ambitious creative businesses in the county is a key theme in the county’s new Creative Industries Strategy and Chair of the Creative Coast Initiative, Paul McGuckin, urged creative industries in the county to engage. “A plan like this provides a structure and it is now about engagement. Whoever engages most will benefit most,” he said.
Local Enterprise Office Donegal is supported through co-funding from the Irish Government and the European Regional Development Fund 2014 – 2020. To contact the Local Enterprise Office in Donegal, log on to www.localenterprise.ie/donegal or phone Tel +353 (0) 7491 60735.