The green light is expected today for the creation of a new film production industry in Limerick, through a partnership between the city and Ardmore Studios. It will create more than 750 permanent jobs and could benefit the local economy to the tune of an estimated €80m yearly.
The board of Innovate Limerick — a company set up by Limerick City and County Council — is expected to approve at a meeting this morning the purchase of a giant industrial unit at Plassey Technological Park, previously occupied by Wang and Dell.
It is intended to lease the building to Ardmore Studios for five years with an option to purchase the property.
Ossie Kilkenny, a director of Ardmore Studios and a long associate of U2, has been in talks with Innovate Limerick over the past year. The building encompasses 33,445sq metres. It was bought 12 years ago by Limerick businessman PJ Noonan. Last year, it was leased to Limerick National City of Culture and locally known as the ‘Culture Factory’.
Innovate Limerick says the industry will generate up to 750 full-time jobs and hundreds more part-time. The board meets today and item seven on the agenda states: “Innovate Limerick and Limerick City and County Council and Ardmore Studios, Ireland’s top film and television studios, have agreed a development partnership to deliver a major film production hub in Limerick.”
It also states the partnership arose as a result of a joint bid made previously to the Irish Film Board which sought expressions of interest for the creation of film and television studio infrastructure in Ireland.
“Given the dynamic of this unique partnership and following on the very successful Limerick City of Culture, the partners are progressing with the film studio project which has significant benefits in terms of the development of a new creative and digital industry in Limerick,” the item added.
The document confirms the agreed location is Mr Noonan’s Plassey building.
Niall Colllins said: “The importance of this development cannot be overstated. The entire economy of the Mid-West is set to benefit.”
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