The Co Wicklow studios where the hit series Vikings, is shot has made a fresh bid for a €90m expansion that would create 1,500 movie-related jobs.

Plans have been lodged by Joe and Shelley O’Connell’s Ashford Studios with Wicklow County Council for phase two of the studio plan at Kellystown in Ashford.

The €90m expansion includes four film studios of 3,716sq m each, a TV studio, offices, support space, and visitor centre in a bid to underpin the development of a TV and film-skills cluster in the county.

The promoters hope the centre will attract 100,000 visitors each year. The firm originally lodged plans for phase two last May.

However, Wicklow County Council put the plan on hold seeking further information. In its request, the planners said the plan would be contrary to the principles of sustainable development. In response, Ashford Studios has withdrawn its original plan and has instead lodged new plans with an environmental impact statement.

Phase one was completed in 2012. Since then, Vikings has been made with the help of 450 staff during filming.

The studio is seeking a 10-year permission on a 100-acre site that includes 60 acres of backlots or lands used for filming. The plan also includes car spaces for 648 cars and 101 coach parking spaces.

Highlighting the urgency behind the plan, Shelley O’Connell wrote to the council Council last year and said that negotiations with prospective film companies are at an advanced stage.


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