CREATIVE COAST DONEGALStrategies & Background
The Local Enterprise Office engaged with the creative sectors and other stakeholders to inform the development of a Strategic Action Plan for Creative Entrepreneurship for Donegal that was launched in the RCC, Letterkenny on the 18th May 2015. This was a first opportunity for people in the creative sectors in Donegal to participate in this strategic initiative such as this. An updated Strategic Action Plan for Creative Entrepreneurs was launched in the RCC, Letterkenny on 5th September 2019.
The plans have been implemented by Donegal County Council through the Local Enterprise Office under the Creative Coast brand.
The initial plan aimed to provide a flexible framework for collaborative actions to support creative entrepreneurship in Donegal with the ultimate aim of enabling the development of a cohort of sustainable businesses in the sector. Two of the key objectives of the Plan were to set about establishing the right conditions for creative entrepreneurship in the county and thus enable the generation and development of sustainable creative businesses in the county. The plan recognised that when these conditions are nurtured, Creative Industries can play a hugely important role in the economy of the county. During the latter half of 2018, a review of the Creative Coast programme was carried out involving two separate and distinct formats. At the first review event in 2018, details were presented of the seven key actions from the initial strategy document and how these had been met to a considerable degree over the previous three years.
Following on from this, a second gathering of creatives was assembled to provide a listening post for all members and to consider action steps that could strengthen the dynamic of the creative industries in Donegal. The resulting updated Strategic Action Plan, set out an ambitious Vision for the sector in Donegal over the three years 2019 – 2022, with the aim of building on the progress to date, reflecting the changing business environment within which the creative industries operate, and providing a rationale for continued support of the creative sector in Donegal, based upon greatest return on investment for the county. The approach proposed, seeks to highlight successes of the current Creative Coast programme from its concept phase and to build upon the momentum already started. At the same time it recognises that, hand in hand with Donegal County Council’s Creative Ireland Donegal Culture and Creativity Strategy 2018 – 2022, there is now a need to build upon the early successes of the Creative Coast with a new, clearly developed strategic approach, set against a coherent Vision, with clear and measurable action points that directly address the business challenges and development objectives of the sector.
From the outset it should be clear that the delivery of this Vision will be a long-term and on-going process, with Aims and Objectives that will be achieved in the short, medium and long-term. The Strategic Action Plan sets out a framework for a series of supports and services that should intertwine to create a coherent, relevant and dynamic programme of engagement. In particular the actions under Ambitions 2 and 3 of Future Jobs Ireland 2019 have influenced many of the strategy’s proposed actions in relation to improving SME productivity and maximising our skills and talent. Similarly Enterprise 2025 Renewed focus on innovation, collaboration, clustering, and the need for scaling and internationalisation and for improved productivity is all reflected in the strategy. The Western Developments Commission’s “Creative West” strategy of 2009 sought to outline a policy framework for the sector in the region and made a range of recommendations for actions – this strategy draws on and in some cases restates many of these recommended actions. The current Government policy statements and strategies of “Enterprise 2025 Renewed” and “Future Jobs Ireland 2019” set out a range of objectives, ambitions and actions to drive our national economy forward. In preparing the “Creative Coast Strategy 2019 – 2022” account has been taken not only of local supports and the existing support ecosystem in Donegal, but of the broader national and regional policy and framework documents.
Our vision for the sector in Donegal is: “To build a strong creative and digital economy in Donegal with businesses that are robust, confident, financially viable and collaboration-friendly, all impacting positively on the local economy in terms of job creation, as well as being pro-active and competitive on an international stage”
The three key aims of the Creative Coast Donegal are: