Business News

Future proofing growth in the craft industry

By Business & Finance
10 January 2014
Craft Design Reports Launch

Minister Phil Hogan today launched two reports that outline recommendations for developing the craft sector in Ireland.

Plans for the integration of a craft strategy into the Regional Development Plan strategies 2014 – 2020, and for the adoption of a number of recommendations from the reports, were announced by the Local Development Companies (LDC) in association with the Crafts Council of Ireland (CCoI). The partnership between LDC and CCoI provides a road map for investment and the the development of the crafts sector, which it is hoped will lead to growth and job creation in rural economies.

The two reports were commissioned by The West Cork Development Partnership on behalf of a consortium of Local Development Companies – Ballyhoura Development; Wexford Local Development; Kilkenny LEADER Partnership; and South Tipperary Development Company – in association with the Crafts Council of Ireland.

In launching the reports Minister Hogan said: “I am delighted that these agencies have collaborated on this important research project and are exploring the significant opportunities which the reports have highlighted for cooperation in the regional development of Ireland’s craft sector. While there are many craft enterprises of scale, the crafts sector in Ireland is primarily made up of micro-enterprises which form an important part of rural and local economies. By supporting and developing our indigenous craft industry, talented designers and makers throughout the country can play a vital role in contributing to sustainable economic renewal. These reports provide a comprehensive evidence base for future actions and investment in Ireland’s innovative craft sector.”

In both reports, the participating regions are reflective of various stages of development of the craft sector throughout Ireland and provide a sound basis for the development of programmes and investment nationally.

‘Creative Clusters – An economic analysis of the current status and future potential for the crafts industry in Ireland’ by Indecon International Economic Consultants examines the economic value of the craft sector. It outlines the sector’s contribution towards prosperous and sustainable rural economies through job creation, tourism and quality of life and highlights their potential to benefit from economies of scale through clusters.

‘Mapping the Craft Sectors in Southern Ireland’ by Willie Miller Urban Design (WMUD) examines the environmental, economic and infrastructural conditions that have led to the development of craft clusters in specific regions. It provides a model that underpins the rationale for LDC support for the crafts sector and other creative/cultural industries and surmises that the value of this group of industries lies not so much in the contribution of individual enterprises but in their collective effects.

CCoI’s chief executive Karen Hennessy said: “The Crafts Council of Ireland is committed to developing active partnerships with Local Development Companies in order to maximise resources and extend our combined reach in the development of the crafts industry in Ireland and internationally. We look forward to working with the Local Development Companies in providing relevant and cost-effective supports to craft enterprises throughout the country in order to sustain and grow this innovative sector.”