The distance between Hollywood and Limerick is set to get a whole lot shorter as plans for an international film studio based in the Treaty City leap ahead.
A former Dell plant is a contender to be purchased for conversion into an international film studio — creating up to 750 jobs.
Innovate Limerick, a company owned by Limerick City and County Council is in advanced negotiations for a 340,000sq ft building at Plassey Technological Park, near the University of Limerick with a view to leasing it to a film studio company. The purchase of the site is down for decison at tomorrow’s board meeting of Innovate Limerick.
Innovate Limerick has had talks with Ardmore Studios who have made an expression of interest in the building which previously housed Wang and Dell manufacturing facilities.
The Limerick building covers twice the current Ardmore Studio space.
It was purchased 12 years ago by Limerick businessman PJ Noonan who leased it last year to the Limerick City of Culture for the staging of a number of major events.
Ardmore Studios, based in Bray, is finding it difficult to cope with demand for their studio space and are looking to expand — you could say they’re “gonna need a bigger boat”.
A film industry source told the Irish Examiner: “The Irish film industry is crying out for additional studio space. This building in Limerick because of its size and its roof height is ready for conversion into film studios. To start trying to develop a studio building from scratch would take years. That is why this building near the University of Limerick is so attractive. Other benefits are its location near Shannon and on the N7 motorway network.”
Ossie Kilkenny, a director of Ardmore refused to comment yesterday.
Another source in Limerick City and County Council said: “Things are delicately poised and Innovate Limerick is anxious to close a deal to purchase the building and enter talks with Ardmore about a long-term lease with an option to buy down the road.”
It is believed that a major US film company have been to Ireland in recent months trying to source a studio to film a production early next year – and Limerick is ready for her close-up.
The Limerick council source said: “Innovate Limerick have been made aware of this production and this has added urgency to complete the purchse so that necessary internal renovations can be carried out. Apparently the site is ideal to meet the needs of this US film company and they are especially keen on its location due to its Shannon connectvitity.”
So perhaps we could see Tom Cruise on Cruises St or Matthew Perry in Pery Square some day.
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