Ireland, UK and NI join forces as Animation Ireland membership is now open to Northern Ireland studios

Press Eye – Belfast – Northern Ireland – 7th May 2022 Photo by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Nicola Lyons of Northern Ireland Screen with Animation Ireland CEO Ronan McCabe and Kate O’Connor from Animation UK, who have signed an agreement this week allowing Northern Ireland studios to be members of Animation Ireland.’’

Animation Ireland, Animation UK and Northern Ireland Screen have today agreed a
deal that will open membership to studios based in Northern Ireland. The studios will be
able to be members of both Animation Ireland and Animation UK, the trade associations
representing studios in Ireland and the UK respectively.
The deal is a major step forward in collaboration between studios in the two jurisdictions,
who have been increasingly linked in recent years through joint work on major global
productions such as Puffin Rock which is co-produced by Derry-based Dog Ears and
Kilkenny-based Cartoon Saloon
The move comes as the animation sector continues to see explosive growth on both sides of
the border, with huge increases in productions, staff numbers and funding for animated
Commenting on the announcement, Animation Ireland Chief Executive Ronan McCabe said;
‘’This is a major milestone for the Irish animation sector on both sides of the border.
There has always been a great spirit of collaboration in the animation sector and that
is what this announcement is all about. By working together, we can all help ensure
the island of Ireland continues to grow its reputation as a leading international hub for
animation production. There are already a huge number of linkages between us in
terms of animation, film and TV production so it makes perfect sense to be more
formally linked.’’

Kate O’Connor, Executive Chair of Animation UK, said; ‘’Animation UK represents the UK
sector known for its creative excellence, humour, iconic characters and innovation.
We are delighted to welcome on board the brilliant animation companies in Northern
Ireland. This exciting development and unique partnership between Animation UK,
Animation Ireland and Northern Ireland Screen will allow us to deepen our existing

Colin Williams, Founder and Creative Director of Northern Ireland animation studio Sixteen
South said; “We’re really delighted to become members of Animation UK and
Animation Ireland. Animation really is a global industry without borders. We at
Sixteen South have co-produced with wonderful partners in many countries across
the world and to have had this agreement brokered by Northern Ireland Screen for us
as a Northern Irish studio to be recognised by and to have membership of both the
UK and Irish Animation bodies is wonderful and really fitting. We’re a mix of cultures
in Northern Ireland and this is a great fit for us.”

Under the deal, Northern Ireland studios will participate with Animation Ireland and
Animation UK at major international animation, film and TV events and conferences to jointly
promote the island of Ireland and the UK as well as issues such as attracting new talent into
the sector, co-production opportunities and wider international promotion.
Northern Ireland studios will have access to Animation Ireland training events, with Northern
Ireland Screen supporting events and training.