Film boss says lack of studio space hurting jobs growth

Ardmore Studios sees Ireland turning away international projects

“The lack of suitable studio space is an issue of great concern for the [film] industry,” said Ardmore Studios chief Siún Ní Raghallaigh. “Studios are essential enablers for the industry to scale.”

“The lack of suitable studio space is an issue of great concern for the [film] industry,” said Ardmore Studios chief Siún Ní Raghallaigh. “Studios are essential enablers for the industry to scale.”

 

Lack of studio space is hindering the efforts of Ireland’s film industry to expand employment, the head of Ardmore Studios said today.

Siún Ní Raghallaigh said the film and TV production sector was poised to gain substantially from the newly enhanced Section 481 film tax credit scheme.

However, its potential is being undermined by a shortage of studio space which means Ireland is turning away potential international projects that could bring hundreds of jobs and generate millions of euro in revenue in the economy, she said.

The Ardmore Studios boss says an additional 100,000 sq ft of industry standard studio space is required. At present, Ireland has 110,000 sq ft of such facilities, she said.

Providing the additional space will cost €30 million, it is estimated, and Ms Ní Raghallaigh has called on the Government to establish a €15 million infrastructure fund to support the project.

“The lack of suitable studio space is an issue of great concern for the industry,” said Ms Ní Raghallaigh, who is also chairwoman of TG4. “Studios are essential enablers for the industry to scale.

“There is strong international interest in Ireland as a production location thanks to the positive tax incentives under Section 481. However, the missing piece of the jigsaw is the availability of appropriate full service studio space in the country.”

Without the investment, she said, the sector would not be able to meet the target of creating 5,000 new highly skilled jobs and increasing annual revenue to €1 billion by 2016 as outlined in the Creative Capital – Building Ireland’s Audio Visual Economy report prepared for the Minister of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht by the Audiovisual Strategic Review Steering Group in April 2011.

“The Government is to be applauded for creating the right environment to attract productions.

“However, it is falling short by not addressing the need to incentivise and accelerate the creation of vital studio infrastructure to cater for these productions,” Ms Ní Raghallaigh said.

“Without this support, growth will be very limited.”