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20/04/2004

Government announce £12m Irish film and TV fund

A £12 million fund aimed at supporting Irish language film and television production in Northern Ireland has been launched by the government today.
The initiative will see the establishment of a £12 million fund over three years aimed at delivering at least 90 hours of Irish language broadcasting per year, to an audience of 25,000 people by 2007/08.
It will also enable at least 15 people to be trained each year in production and broadcasting skills.
Announcing the news, Secretary of State, Paul Murphy said: "In the Joint Declaration made by the two governments, the British Government gave a commitment, subject to the receipt of an effective business case, to establish a fund for financial support for Irish language film and television production in Northern Ireland.
"I have now received and considered the business case, prepared by external consultants, and am pleased to announce that the Government has agreed to proceed on the basis of the document's preferred option."
Welcoming the news, Sinn Féin Culture Spokesperson, Francie Brolly said the news was good for the Irish language community.
“This is good news for the Irish language community but it must now signal the start of the British government stepping up their commitments," the East Derry MLA said.
"They still have a long way to go to implement commitments made in the Good Friday Agreement, particularly on access to TG4."
(MB)
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