Martin expresses ambition to expand filming in Ireland after visit to 30 Rock

Taoiseach met with executives and was offered tour of studios at Rockefeller Plaza

Taoiseach Micheál Martin visiting NBC. Photograph: Cormac McQuinn

Taoiseach Micheál Martin visiting NBC. Photograph: Cormac McQuinn

 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has signalled that the Government will look at more ways of attracting major film and television production to its shores to create “an industry of scale” in Ireland.

His remarks came after meetings at NBC/Universal’s “30 Rock” headquarters in New York.

Mr Martin met with executives and was offered a tour of the studios at the Rockefeller Plaza skyscraper that included visits to the sets of MSNBC News, Saturday Night Live and Late Night with Seth Meyers.

“Don’t tell Ryan Tubridy,” he quipped as he was shown around the chat show set.

Speaking afterwards Mr Martin said NBC/Universal is investing in Ireland and “part of the agenda of our meeting this morning was to map out the potential for further investment.”

Mr Martin said there is “huge demands on the industry” which is expanding there is a need for people to create the content.

He said: “They need people at all levels of skill sets to Ireland.

“They’re very happy with their experience in Ireland – they’re filming there at the moment.”

Mr Martin said the meeting was “positive” and added: “obviously we have to look at how many additional measures we can take to sort of make it even more attractive for the film industry, to on an enduring sustainable basis, to invest in Ireland and create an industry of scale…

“That is the ambition that we have”.

The Irish Times has previously been reported about concern that international investment in the Irish film, television and animation industry is being hindered by a cap on the tax credit that can be claimed by productions made in Ireland.

The concern was raised in a report commissioned from PwC by Ardmore Studios and Troy Studios says.

The upper limit of €70 million in eligible expenditure per project on which the section 481 screen tax credit can be claimed is hurting the attractiveness of the State for large-scale international productions, it finds, arguing that the ceiling should either be increased or abolished completely.

An enhanced incentive for filming away from the greater Dublin area, Wicklow and Cork was extended for a year in last year’s Budget.