€3m facility set to open in 2021
Councillors attending Monday's Wicklow County Council meeting voted unanimously in favour of proceeding with part 8 plans for a content creation hub at Wicklow County Campus in Rathnew.
Where a project is being progressed by the local authority, planning permission is applied for under Part 8 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001-2015.
It is planned to have the content creation hub completed by Quarter three or four of 2021. It will create 150 new jobs and incorporate 40 new and growing businesses. Funding of €1.43m was secured under the Government's Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF). The overall cost of the project is around €3 million, including capital and other costs. The remainder will be matched by Wicklow County Council.
Addressing the meeting, Linda Healy, Senior Enterprise Development Officer, said: 'County Wicklow has been associated with the film industry for a long time and this creation hub will build on that success.'
The 10,000 square foot development will include hot desks, creative pods, podcast studios, meeting rooms, conference centre, co-working spaces and screening facilities.
The hub will include the courtyard buildings, the second floor of the existing campus building and the chapel, which will be refurbished and renovated. It will also include a newly-built two-floor extension to the courtyard buildings.
Cllr Shay Cullen commented: 'This is something east and north Wicklow have been looking for quite a while. I would like to congratulate everyone involved, including James O'Donoghue of Bluett and O'Donoghue Architects for the wonderful building design. It's very modern and very welcoming.'
Cllr John Snell also expressed his compliments to everyone involved.
'If it only created 15 jobs I would welcome it. The fact it is creating 150 is just a win, win. It's a great project for east Wicklow but also for County Wicklow. It has the potential to just grow and grow.'
Cllr Gerry Walsh stated: 'This is an exciting project for the whole county. It will be a one stop shop for start offs. It should also help some people to work locally rather than having to endure long distance commutes. It has huge potential for the screen sector in County Wicklow as a whole.'
All 34 councillors present at the meeting voted in favour of the Part 8.