Ireland's biggest-ever film studio campus gets green light to welcome blockbusters
An ambitious new project aims to put the country on the map for Hollywood's finest.
The future of blockbuster cinema is in... Westmeath?
Phase one of what, if successfully developed, will become Ireland's largest film studio campus has officially received the green light from the noted Hollywood staple that is the Westmeath County Council.
A planning application for a "purpose-built campus" designed to attract large-scale blockbuster film, television and content productions from the US and around the world, submitted by Hammerlake Studios in May, was approved last week.
The production campus will be constructed on a 25-acre site at Lough Sheever Corporate Park in Mullingar, with an estimated annual €50 million expected to be generated for the local economy as a result.
The first phase is set to commence operations in the first quarter of 2024, creating 350 production jobs and 300 construction jobs in the process. The second phase will raise job creation to over 1,000 by 2025.
Phase one, totalling 236,000 square-feet, will comprise four studios or 'sound stages' suitable for large-scale film and television production, an administrative building, workshops, data technology centres, editing rooms, food, fitness and other amenities.
Construction is estimated to take 12 months. Phase two, which will be submitted for planning approval in Summer 2023, will see an additional seven studios added to the campus, bringing the total footprint to 460,000 square-feet.
As for just who is behind the project? The Hammerlake Studios leadership team is made up of film industry experts with over 60 years of experience developed at Universal Pictures, Disney and Troy Studios.
"We are excited by the decision by Westmeath County Council to grant us planning in principle," said Paul Chesney, Chief Executive Officer of Hammerlake Studios.
"It represents a significant step forward in our plans to build a world class film and content production facility in Mullingar, one capable of accommodating the biggest and best film productions.
"The Hammerlake Studios campus will showcase the beauty and welcome of Ireland and its local community, along with the scale and landscape of a vibrant working studio, where content makers will want to work time and time again.
"Ours will not just be a functional service oriented working studio, but a destination that delivers everything a production entity will ever need, from creative support, technology and equipment, secure data capabilities, along with first class catering and off-stage filming capability all in one campus."