Foster welcomes BBC-NI Screen partnership
Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Arlene Foster has welcomed the signing of a new partnership agreement between the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen.
The partnership sets out priority areas of cooperation between the two parties to support the creative industries across Northern Ireland.
Arlene Foster said: “I welcome this formal pledge from two major players in the creative sector and in particular that both parties have committed to support television, film and online industries in Northern Ireland.
“We have already witnessed game-changing shifts in the Northern Ireland landscape, with the region currently enjoying its highest ever profile within the global screen industry.
“As recently as 10 years ago, the sector was made up almost exclusively of work associated with BBC Northern Ireland and UTV, with almost no international profile. What a difference a decade has made. Today, most of the leading production companies are export focused and the sector is bolstered by considerable inward investment activity from the United States of America.
“Ten years ago, the industry was almost exclusively within the factual/entertainment television sector. There was no large scale production, television drama, gaming, mobile, e-learning or web content. Through continued support from my Department and funding through Invest NI, this landscape has been transformed. Northern Ireland has appeared on the national and international stages like a bolt out of the blue as an exciting new centre of creativity with endless possibilities.
“I have no doubt that this partnership agreement between the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen will help the sector grow further, as both work to develop a dynamic screen industry here; creating jobs and opportunities for our wealth of creative talent.
“This initial agreement concentrates on content but it is envisaged as being the first stage of a series of initiatives which will include further partnerships and infrastructure development. I am confident that the outcomes will benefit the whole of Northern Ireland – industry practitioners and audiences alike – and will help ensure the Northern Ireland voice is heard throughout the UK and internationally.”