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Plans are rolling for film studio that promises more than 1,500 jobs

Wicklow County Council has granted planning permission for the facility in Greystones

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Global hit: Mel Gibson’s Braveheart used film studio facilities in Wicklow in the past

Global hit: Mel Gibson’s Braveheart used film studio facilities in Wicklow in the past

Global hit: Mel Gibson’s Braveheart used film studio facilities in Wicklow in the past

It’s ‘lights, camera, action!’ for a €150m plan for a film studio and media campus in Co Wicklow.

Wicklow County Council has granted planning permission to Greystones Media Campus (GMC) Ltd for its “state of the art” film studio and media facility.

It is planned for an almost 50-acre site in Greystones, in a project that will create more than 1,500 jobs.

The promoters state that the proposal “has the potential to be transformative in the manner in which the Guggenheim was transformative for Bilbao”.

The media campus company is a 50/50 joint venture between builders John Sisk & Son Ltd, and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) which is managed and controlled by State-owned debt agency, the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA).

Already, Ardmore Studios and Ashford Studios have put Wicklow at the centre of the Irish movie and TV industry with productions including Braveheart, The Tudors, Penny Dreadful and Ashford’s Vikings.

Documentation lodged with the new plan states that the studio scheme’s direct, indirect and induced economic impact has a gross value of €1.54bn which, it states, will represent a significant stimulus to Greystones and the wider metropolitan region.

The promoters of the venture state that the GMC will aim to capitalise on the growing demand for content by the likes of new market entrants Amazon, Netflix and Hulu.

More established operators such as HBO and Disney will also be catered for.

A letter lodged with the application states that there is currently an acute global shortage of studio space in the ever-increasing ‘content creation race’.

The planning documents state that the project, when complete, will more than double the stage capacity in Ireland.

The plan involves the construction of 73,511 squard metres of film studio across 15 buildings at the IDA Business and Technology Park at Greystones.

The letter states: “This development can create, embed and anchor a global industry in Ireland and Wicklow for the long term.”

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A number of local residents had expressed their concerns over the impact of the plan and third parties have the option of appealing the council decision to An Bord Pleanála.


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