Boost for creative industries in Leitrim and border region

Harnessing creativity in Leitrim Fermanagh and Tyrone.
Calling all creative enterprises in Fermanagh, Tyrone and Leitrim and throughout the region. Next Monday, April 22 is the deadline for those wishing to avail of a unique opportunity to collaborate with other creative and mainstream businesses, in order to develop products, woo investors, forge new contacts and get advice from experts.

Calling all creative enterprises in Fermanagh, Tyrone and Leitrim and throughout the region. Next Monday, April 22 is the deadline for those wishing to avail of a unique opportunity to collaborate with other creative and mainstream businesses, in order to develop products, woo investors, forge new contacts and get advice from experts.

The initial phase of Harnessing Creativity, an €800,000 (£681,907stg) cross-border EU- funded initiative, will see 45 companies – sole traders as well as micro businesses – participate in three “Creative Labs” starting at the end of this month.

Businesses who wish to participate in the Creative Labs phase of the Harnessing Creativity project have until April 22 to apply. Coordinator Anna Marie O’Rourke said the Creative Labs will be facilitated by mentors who are experts in their area. Participants will include artists, designers, film and digital media practitioners, writers, furniture makers, animators, engineers, architects, fashion designers, photographers, and others working in Leitrim, Fermanagh, Tyrone and surrounding counties.

“We hope to see practitioners from the creative sector working with each other, or with other businesses,” explained O’Rourke.

Thirty creative companies and 15 mainstream businesses will take part in the three creative labs in Fermanagh, Tyrone and Leitrim and will meet for 8 sessions over May –July 2013. Days 6-8 will assist co creation groups to plan and work together around concepts to develop them for a regional showcase exhibition taking place in September 2013 .This exhibition will travel to galleries outside of the region later this year. The Harnessing Creativity projects runs

until May 2015 and is expected to benefit 200 creative businesses and 100 practitioners from the broader economy over the next two years.

Joe Lowe, CEO of Leitrim County Enterprise Board pointed out that this project, together with the opening of a €1.2m Technology Enterprise Centre in Carrick on Shannon during the summer, will provide a significant boost for those already working in the creative sector.

As well as availing of mentoring, and opportunities to share expertise, up-skill and showcase their work, participants in the creative labs which run from April to August, will also avail of a budget of €15,000 per lab to fund such expenses as specialist equipment, materials orworkspace.

Participants in the Creative Labs should have two years’ experience in business. Applicants are asked to submit a short CV or one-page professional profile, with three examples of their work (web links or image files with brief explanatory texts) outlining why they want to take part and the opportunities for collaboration within their business.

Applications should be sent by email to arlene@leitrimenterprise.ie, with the subject heading “HC Creative Labs 2013” by Monday next April 2013.

The initiative is being funded through the European Union’s INTERREG IVA programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Harnessing Creativity is across-border project that will be delivered by Leitrim County Enterprise Board in partnership with the Irish Central Border Area Network (ICBAN), Leitrim County Council, Fermanagh District Council, Omagh Enterprise Agency, Tyrone Donegal Partnership and the Leitrim Design House.

Leitrim County Enterprise Board and the Irish Central Border Area Network (ICBAN) are supporting the programme which they believe will exploit the wealth of creative and artistic talent in Tyrone Fermanagh, and Leitrim and the region.