WDC launches a million euro fund for west’s creative industries
By Declan Varley
Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government, Minister Phil Hogan TD last week launched the WDC’s €1 million micro loan fund for creative industries in the Western Region.
The fund is a pilot initiative, allocating €1m over a three year period from the Western Investment Revolved Fund to the creative industries sector.
The Micro-Loan Fund will operate on a competitive ‘Call for Applications’ basis with two calls per annum. The first call opened on June 29 with a closing date for applications of Friday, August 31, at 4 pm.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Hogan said, “The creative industries sector has the potential to contribute to the sustainable long term development of the Western Region, a predominantly rural region. WDC research found that there are circa 5,000 creative businesses in the Western Region which directly employ 11,000 people, equal to 3 per cent of total employment in the region. The creative sector generates annual turnover of €534m and directly contributes €270m to the Gross Value Added (GVA) of the region”.
Also speaking at the launch, John Perry TD, Junior Minister for Small Business said “WDC research identified access to funding as an issue for creative industries and an impediment to the growth of the sector. The majority of businesses in this sector are sole traders or micro enterprises who face particular difficulties accessing finance. This access to funding issue has been exacerbated by the current financial crisis and the creation of this Micro Fund seeks to address this gap”.
The WDC Micro-Loan Fund: Creative Industries is open to: sole traders, partnerships, businesses and groups operating in the creative industries sector. This is defined as: cccupations and industries centred on creativity, for the production and distribution of original goods and services. The preference is for businesses to be incorporated i.e. a company limited by shares or a company limited by guarantee but non-incorporated businesses will be considered.
Speaking on behalf of the WDC, Commission Member Vincent Roche said “The establishment of this new fund is yet another manifestation of the Western Investment Fund’s effectiveness in delivering socio-economic development of the Western Region. The WIF was established to be an Evergreen Fund and the WDC has been successful in developing this sustainable model of investment. All its investments are commercially invested and all monies recouped are reinvested back into the region. The €1m earmarked for WDC Micro-Loan Fund: Creative Industries is from the WDC’s own resources as a result of its prudent investment policy”.
The following 12 creative industries make up the creative sector and businesses from these sectors are eligible to apply:
Internet and software
Music, visual and performing arts
Radio and TV broadcasting
Video, film and photography
Full details on the fund are available at www.wdc.ie/microfundci/