BAIThe Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has today (25th February) announced the allocation of funding for 2015 under two key initiatives – its Sectoral Learning and Development Programme and its Sponsorship Scheme. Funding of €376,200 has been approved by the Authority for a range of training and development initiatives, while 18 events and activities will benefit from funding of €110,300 under the Sponsorship Scheme.

Since its establishment in 2009, the BAI has disbursed almost €2m in funding support through sectoral learning and development, while in the same period it has awarded sponsorship to the value of approximately €550,000.

The BAI and its predecessors have a long-standing strategic focus of supporting the broadcasting sector through learning and development activities. While the BAI does not deliver training and development activities itself, it has developed a sustainable approach, which focuses on developing and supporting relevant industry networks, which can in turn provide suitable and appropriate training and development initiatives for their members. This approach has enabled the BAI to build and support a culture of learning and development within the industry.

The allocation of funding, announced today, is designed to foster the development and maintenance of a culture of lifelong training and learning within the broadcasting industry. Networks to benefit from funding under the Sectoral Learning and Development Programme include CRAOL (the representative organisation for community radio in Ireland); Learning Waves (the leading training provider for commercial radio); Women on Air; Screen Producers Ireland; and the National Union of Journalists.

The BAI has operated its Sponsorship Scheme for a number of years. This Scheme, undertaken within the context of the BAI Communications Plan, provides financial and in-kind support to a range of relevant events and activities that take place during a given year.

A total of 28 applications for support under the Scheme were received for 2015. The 18 successful applications include film festivals, award ceremonies, investigative journalism and Irish language events.

Speaking at a stakeholder event, held in the BAI today, to announce details of funding being provided in the current year, the CEO of the BAI, Michael O’Keeffe said: “Sponsorship is considered an important activity that enhances the profile of the BAI and raises awareness of its strategic objectives as well as contributing to the growth and continued development of the audio-visual industry in Ireland.

Through its Sectoral Learning and Development programme, the BAI is committed to working in partnership with broadcasters and industry networks to address specific development needs that will enhance capacity in the sector. Ultimately, such investment in learning and development is a means through which broadcasting services can respond to the interests and needs of Irish audiences.

“As with virtually all the support programmes operated by the BAI, the applications received both through Sponsorship and Sectoral Learning and Development exceeded the available budget. Unfortunately, I know that some applicants have been disappointed on this occasion. However, I am very pleased that we have been able to support a large number of applicants and I would like to wish them every success with the various events and projects,” Mr. O’Keeffe said.

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By Expat