Minister's creative industry vow as new forum meets at Stormont
Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín vowed to harness the potential of film-makers and other creative artists as she held the first meeting of a new forum for the growing sector.
The new ministerial advisory forum will encourage partnerships in all aspects of the creative industries, from film and television to craft and music.
The minister said: "As government lead on the creative industries, I am bringing together industry leaders, educators and trade bodies across the diverse range of sectors within this vibrant and growing part of our economy.
"Our common purpose is to work together to help local creative businesses thrive and to fully harness the potential of the creative industries to stimulate innovation across the economy and wider society."
She said the Executive's draft innovation strategy had recognised the crucial importance of creativity and culture in supporting innovation.
"The creative industries in this part of Ireland already compete and succeed on the world stage but we can do more to help more businesses realise their potential," she added. "Industry, government and the community can also work better together to strengthen a creative industries and innovation pipeline providing more young people from all backgrounds with industry-relevant skills and opportunities."
The first meeting of the forum, which was held at Parliament Buildings, had brought the creative industries "to the heart of government", Mrs Ní Chuilín said.
She added: "I will work with my Executive colleagues and stakeholders across Ireland and beyond to shape joined-up approaches to help creative ideas, creative people and creative businesses emerge and flourish."
The forum was formed from the boards of the main two creative industries organisations in Northern Ireland – Creative and Cultural Skills and Creative Skillset.
Both work across industry and education to encourage young people and new entrants into the sector.