Written by on Jan 30, 2015. Posted in Incentive News

Ireland’s boosted filming incentives explored by IFTA and BAFTA

The Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) and BAFTA have co-hosted a panel discussion in London on how UK producers can get the most out of Ireland’s boosted filming incentives. Major productions filmed in the Dublin area have included Ripper Street and Vikings.

Ireland increased its Section 481 filming incentive from 28% to 32% at the start of the year. In addition, the tax credit has been expanded to include salaries paid to stars coming in from outside the European Union.

Much of the focus of the discussions was on the potential for UK/Irish co-productions and dividing shoots between the two territories, rather than competing with each other. John Gleeson is Head of Media at charted accountancy firm Grant Thornton and a panellist at the event. He spoke to Irish Film and Television Network after the event.

“UK and other foreign producers can look at Ireland as an English-speaking jurisdiction located right beside the UK and offering 32% and the fact that the UK is currently operating at capacity means that Ireland is another alternative and perhaps a work split can be done between the UK and Ireland,” Gleeson said.

Ripper Street was discussed as a key example of successfully dividing a production. Dublin doubled for Victorian London across three series, but post work was done in the UK.

“Fundamentally if the incentives didn’t exist, we wouldn’t go to Ireland,” explained Frith Tiplady of Tiger Aspect in London.

“The euro has been quite strong against the pound so it is quite important that it’s there to compensate for that. The fact that it’s going up to 32% also makes it a lot more competitive.”

Studio space is the next major issue facing Ireland’s production industry. The country has only two purpose-built facilities and is under pressure to add to this to attract more international shoots.

In the meantime, it’s hoped that more producers will follow the example of Ripper Street and adapt existing industrial buildings into filming spaces when studios are unavailable. The practice is also increasingly common in the UK, with Atlantis, 24: Live Another Day and Outlander all choosing to shoot in retrofitted warehouses.


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