Planning application submitted for 18-hectare Greystones film campus

2 Jul 2020

Conceptual image of the Greystones Media Campus. Image: GMC

If approved, the Greystones Media Campus could create up to 1,500 jobs in film, media, broadcasting and other sectors.

Backers of a new media campus in Greystones have submitted a planning application for a €150m state-of-the-art film and TV studio on the IDA Ireland Killincarrig site in Co Wicklow.

The 18-hectare site would include 14 studios, offices and production buildings, with its proponents – called Greystones Media Campus (GMC) Ltd – saying it could create up to 1,200 jobs in the film, media and broadcasting sectors. Its developers also claimed that the project could create up to 300 full-time positions in other sectors of the Irish economy through knock-on impacts.

The planning application and proposed development is being supported by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, Capwell and film and TV producer Conor Harrington.

Under the Greystones-Delgany and Kilcoole Local Area Plan 2013-2019, the Killincarrig site had previously been prioritised for “the development of high-density people-based employment”.

Demand for new content

“The Greystones Media Campus has the potential to be an exciting new chapter in the story of the Irish film industry and will lead to a wealth of new opportunities in the sector and across Wicklow,” a spokesperson for GMC said.

“It’s been clear for some time that while Wicklow is the only county in Ireland to have two large-scale studios, the existing infrastructure needs to be supported and expanded if Irish productions are to compete internationally. In addition, the increasing demand for content from global companies such as Netflix, Amazon and Disney mean that the proposal for this new facility is extremely timely.”

Speaking with The Irish Times, chair of the Greystones 2020 initiative, Gráinne McLoughlin, said that if the project is successful, it would “suit Greystones down to the ground” and would be welcome after almost two years of planning.

The Government’s Audiovisual Action Plan announced in 2018 said it wanted to make Ireland “a global hub for the production of film, TV drama and animation” and double employment and turnover in the industry within five years.

Plans for a major film studio in Ringsend, Dublin, were dashed in 2017 by the Dublin Port Company. James Morris and Alan Maloney of Windmill Lane Studios had planned to develop an 180,000 sq ft site on the former Irish Glass Bottle site, but a report from the Dublin Port Company found there was little support for it in the local area.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic