Permission sought for €150m film and media campus in Wicklow

Greystones project could create 1,500 jobs and remedy deficit of top-quality studio space

Greystones, Co Wicklow. File photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Greystones, Co Wicklow. File photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

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Planning permission is being sought for a €150 million film, studio and media campus on an almost 50-acre site in Greystones, Co Wicklow, which could create more than 1,500 jobs.

The audio-visual sector is worth more than €1 billion to the Irish economy, with 12,000 people employed in film, television and animation production. However, Ireland is suffering from a shortage of high-quality studio space.

Greystones Media Campus Ltd notified Wicklow County Council on Wednesday of its application for 10-year planning permission for the campus, which would be built at the IDA Business and Technology Park, Killincarrig.

A spokeswoman for Greystones Media Campus told The Irish Times the “state of the art” facility would facilitate the growth of Ireland’s film and television industry.

“The proposed facility will seek to build upon, and contribute to, the existing Dublin-Wicklow film and screen cluster, the leading economic cluster of its type in the country,” she said. “It will also work to consolidate Wicklow’s position as the traditional heart of television and film production in Ireland.”

The planning application proposes 14 studios, offices and ancillary production buildings in a landscaped setting – more than doubling the available stage capacity available to film, TV and media crews in Ireland.

The company said that, subject to planning and once fully operational, the site is the “first step” in a process which it is hoped will deliver up to 1,200 jobs in the film, media and broadcasting sectors.

The development could also in turn lead to in the region of up to 300 full-time positions in other sectors of the Irish economy through knock-on impacts. A further 580 jobs could be created during the construction phase.

The planning application and proposed development is being supported by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, Capwell, a Sisk Group company, and Conor Harrington, an independent TV and film producer.

The spokeswoman for Greystones Media Campus said the campus “has the potential to be an exciting new chapter in the story of the Irish film industry and will lead to a wealth of new opportunities in the sector and across Wicklow . . . the only county in Ireland to have two large-scale studios. The existing infrastructure needs to be supported and expanded if Irish productions are to compete internationally.”

“In addition, the increasing demand for content from global companies such as Netflix, Amazon and Disney mean that the proposal for this new facility is extremely timely.

Is it good for Greystones?

The spokeswoman added that Greystones is an ideal location for the project. She cited good access to the M11/N11 Dublin-Wexford route, the M50 and to Dublin Airport. Greystones, she said, also enables access to a range of screen locations, both urban and rural.

Greystones 2020 chairwoman Gráinne McLoughlin said the proposed development is huge and would put Wicklow on the map.

“This has been in the pipeline for 18 months to two years now,” she said. “It’s a huge development on the IDA lands . . . It’s great for Greystones. We have all this development going on in the town but we have no industry. This development will suit Greystones down to the ground. We have Amazon and Netflix making movies these days so there is huge appetite for this. It will really put Wicklow on the map . . . we are absolutely delighted with it.”

A decision on the planning application is due on August 25th.

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