A NEW production and digital skills academy to be located in Limerick city will feed into the opportunities created by Troy Studios.
The facility, to be located in the Dominican biblical centre on Dominic Street which was purchased by Limerick City and County Council for €2.25m using State funds, will train people in the skills needed to work in the film industry.
The objective is to have an all-Irish trained crew working at Troy by 2020, while the Academy is also to set aside 20% of places for people from regeneration areas of the city.
The skills to be taught at the centre will include hair and make-up, digital animation, acting, camera operator, set design and building, rigging and wardrobe, skills the council said would be “both accessible and attractive to people of working age in regeneration and other areas”.
“The Academy is an important step in the social and economic transformation of our regeneration areas. Our aim is to target specific groups of people from the four areas to give them training and the skills they need so they can walk onto the set of any film or TV production in Limerick and start working,” said Mayor Kieran O’Hanlon, noting the project was a collaborative one between Troy, the council, film industry leaders and education training bodies.
Conn Murray, Limerick council CEO, said the centre was “a strategically important building in the overall revitalisation of Limerick and it will form an anchor for the Digital Hub which we are establishing in the area and is an ideal location for the new Production and Digital Skills Academy.
“The purchase of the Biblical Centre is another example of the local authority putting the jigsaw pieces in place to help boost the economic capability of the city centre as part of our economic and spatial plan.”
Innovate Limerick, the council’s investment arm that was a key mover in the Troy deal and this Academy, believe, according to Mike Cantwell, that it will “provide reskilling for those who have been in unemployment and will upskill people who want to take their careers to the next level.
“Innovate Limerick was established to drive innovation and act as the delivery mechanism for the projects outlined in the Limerick 2030 plan. One of our core objectives is to work with the key stakeholders to develop Limerick's business ecosystem and position Limerick City and County as one of the most attractive locations to start and grow a business.
“This can be clearly seen with our plans for the Digital Hub and the Production and Digital Skills Academy,” he added.
The announcement was welcomed by Michelle Brassil from Troy Studios, construction for which is continuing, with a view to production starting by year’s end.
“The move by the partnership, led by the local authority, to set up the Production and Digital Skills Academy shows the joined up thinking by everyone involved.
“Limerick has shown that all the components are already in place for the Academy to be a success. In providing world class film studio infrastructure, Troy Studios will be the enabler for incoming productions that will seek to employ local production crews, trained to a very high standard. The Academy is a significant step forward in meeting this potential demand.”