Kids tv pro­duc­ers to brexit-proof with dublin stu­dio

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Front Page - BY EMMA DEIGHAN

A NORTH­ERN Ire­land an­i­ma­tion com­pany is open­ing a Dublin-based stu­dio to safe­guard its busi­ness against Brexit.

Six­teen South, the firm be­hind Lily’s Drift­wood Bay and new pro­duc­tion Wild­woods, said the move would al­low it to avail of Euro­pean tal­ent that might not be ac­ces­si­ble post-brexit.

Colin Wil­liams, founder of the com­pany — which was set up in 2008 — said hav­ing an EU pres­ence would also al­low it to work across both ter­ri­to­ries.

He said: “We don’t have any de­fin­i­tive plans for the size of the oper­a­tion in Dublin but it will be de­pen­dent on the work we do there.

“The rea­sons for it are avail­abil­ity of tal­ent, tax in­cen­tives and pro­tec­tion of Euro­pean iden­tity.”

He said over half of his em­ploy­ees are from out­side North­ern Ire­land and it was im­por­tant that trad­ing to the EU re­mained vi­able.

“We need to make sure that we can con­tinue to em­ploy the best peo­ple for the job. We also need to stay Euro­pean-based be­cause we sell our shows to EU broad­cast­ers who have a com­mit­ment to buy shows made in Europe,” said Mr Wil­liams. Open­ing a Dublin stu­dio could see the busi­ness in­crease its work­force from 140 to 200, it was re­ported. Mean­while the stu­dio has struck a three-year deal with a Chi­nese en­ter­tain­ment com­pany, Uy­oung, which ac­quired the com­pany’s Lily’s Drift­wood Bay for dis­tri­bu­tion in China. The com­pa­nies are ex­pected to pro­duce at least two shows to­gether. It also launched its Wild­woods pup­pet show on RTE re­cently.

Six­teen South’s Lily’s Drift­wood Bay and (be­low) founder Colin Wil­liams

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