Pinewood eyeing up studio space at Limerick hub

Alan Owens


Alan Owens

Daniel Craig as James Bond: Pinewood Studios, where the iconic films have been shot in the past, are eyeing up the new Troy Studios, to be located in Castletroy and up and running in 2016

Daniel Craig as James Bond: Pinewood Studios, where the films have been shot, is eyeing up Troy Studios in Limerick

PINEWOOD Studios, home to James Bond and Harry Potter, is eyeing up the soon to be available 70,000 square feet of sound studio space in the city, a deal for which was confirmed this week.

And shooting is expected to get underway in 2016 on a big budget, multi-million euro movie, with more already in the pipeline.

Limerick City and County Council has announced that it has signed an agreement paving the way forward for the much anticipated film and television production studio project to be located in the old Dell building in Castletroy. It said that heads of an agreement have been signed with a newly established company, Troy Studios, for the purposes of developing the Mid-West’s first film and television production hub.

The directors of Troy Studios Limited - a spin out company from Ardmore Studios in Wicklow, currently home to Penny Dreadful and other major television productions - are Ardmore CEO Siún Ní Raghallaigh and Ossie Kilkenny - a joint owner of the Bray-based studio - and producer and John Kelleher.

Ms Ní Raghallaigh said the studio would “place Limerick on the international map as a new film location”.

Finance minister Michael Noonan welcomed the development, which could create upwards of 750 jobs and a commercial spin-off to the local economy of €70m, according to Conn Murray, chief executive of Limerick City and County Council.

“It will put Limerick on the map and Ardmore’s involvement is very important but there are others there too,” Mr Noonan said.

“Pinewood are entering into a contract with the studio as well - who always have a long list of people waiting to shoot films, they are interested in having a lease access to part of the facility. It needs planning permission for a change of use, and some sound proofing and other interior modifications, but nothing huge. They should be ready to shoot the first movie, which they have contracted, in early 2016.”

The intention is for Troy Studios to be a fully-fledged leading studio facility by the end of 2016, the council and the studio said.

“We’re delighted to be working with Troy Studios in facilitating the company in its plans to establish a significant media hub for film and television production in Limerick,” said Conn Murray.

“This is an extremely welcome development as it presents a diverse range of opportunities for the wider arts, crafts and culture sector in the region, and particularly those undertaking third level digital media courses in Limerick.”

In addition to the studios, the company said it was “anticipated that Troy Studios will also become home to a media cluster of companies providing services to support film and TV production on site”.

Ms Ní Raghallaigh said the announcement was significant for plans to establish a significant media hub for film and television production in the city.

“The establishment of Troy Studios will assist Ireland take advantage of the 30% growth in global creative audio visual content predicted for the next five years. Troy Studios will add 70,000 sq. feet of studio space to the existing 110,000 sq. feet of sound studio space that already exists in Ireland.

“It is an exciting initiative and we look forward to progressing plans with Limerick City and County Council to bring this project to fruition and place Limerick on the international map as a new film location,” she said.