The Strangford Assembly Member said: “The arts, film and media sector has such a vital role to play in the regeneration of Northern Ireland after so many years of conflict.
“The creative talents of people within these sectors in Northern Ireland must be allowed to develop to their full potential. The provision of incentives and assistance for production companies must be made available to allow this to happen.
“It is great that so many leading lights within the world of television are here to discuss the volume and quality of television drama production in Northern Ireland.
“For too long, Northern Ireland has lost its talented young people from these sectors to other regions of the UK or to the Republic of Ireland, because opportunities have been so scarce here.
“Northern Ireland has the potential to become leading centre of excellence in this field, so this sector must be given the encouragement it needs to do so.
“Local politicians should get off their tribal soapbox and help get a local soap on the box, so that we can expand the local television industry. If devolution was up and running again we could potentially introduce tax breaks and government funding to match private investment for the industry, to ensure that television companies are encouraged to expand here.”