25-acre site selected as location for Hammerlake Studios’ extensive film and TV campus.
Planning permission for a new TV and movie studio to be built on a 25-acre site in Lough Sheever Corporate Park in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, has been approved by Westmeath County Council.
The Hammerlake Studios development will await a final planning decision to be made by the council in September.
“The sector currently supports 12,000 jobs in Ireland, with significant additional expansion opportunities across all parts of the industry anticipated in the coming year”
The project is being led by a consortium of sectoral experts who have worked at senior levels of the film industry over the last 30 years, formerly at Universal Pictures, Disney, and Troy Studios.
It is believed that the Lough Sheever site in Mullingar town was selected due to the impressive mix of accommodation, catering, and business services in the local area. It is also in close proximity to Dublin, which serves as a major international travel hub, with a wide array of direct flights to North America and mainland Europe.
The first phase will focus on the construction of four studios, workshops, an administration building, a technology centre and editing rooms.
The project has the potential to generate 300 construction jobs. Once completed, the studio could employ up to 350 film crew.
If final planning permission is approved, phase one of the studio development is expected to be fully operational within 12 months.
According to the Irish Independent, a second phase that will see a further seven studios added on a 460,000 sq ft site will add a further 1,000 production jobs at the campus.
Lights, camera, action!
The growing demand for new film and television content means that there is a global shortage of studio space. While Ireland has three relatively large studio facilities (Ardmore, Troy, and Ashford), demand for these studios is exceptionally high, with studio projects often selecting other international locations when the availability of these existing facilities has been limited.
Recent figures published by Screen Ireland (February 2022) reveal a record-breaking spend of €500m in the Irish economy across film, television drama, documentary making, and animation in 2021. This represents a 40% increase on the previous record set in 2019.
The sector currently supports 12,000 jobs in Ireland, with significant additional expansion opportunities across all parts of the industry anticipated in the coming year.
The new studio would bring considerable benefits to the local Mullingar economy and help Ireland meet the demands of the biggest global productions.