Just a few years ago it seemed like lights out for the Dell factory in Castletroy in Limerick, but now it’s lights, camera, action as the factory is to be turned into a film studio.
The Castletroy facility housed Dell’s manufacturing operations and those of Wang before it. It closed in 2003 when Dell centralised its manufacturing at Raheen in Limerick. Dell closed its Raheen plant in 2009, resulting in the loss of almost 2,000 jobs, devastating the city of Limerick at the time.
But now Limerick City and County Council has confirmed that it has signed Heads of Agreement with Troy Studios, subject to planning permission, for a long-term lease of the former Dell factory at Castletroy in Limerick.
The proposed studio facilities in Limerick include the use of the 340,000 sq ft building in Castletroy, previously used as The Culture Factory for Limerick City of Culture 2014.
Hollywood comes to Limerick
The intention is for Troy Studios to be a fully-fledged leading studio facility to cater for film and TV productions by the end of Q2 2016.
It is also envisaged that Troy Studios will become home to a cluster of digital media companies that support the entertainment industry.
Limerick Council is understood to have agreed to buy the building for €5.5m, but negotiations have been ongoing. Ireland’s biggest film studio Ardmore was understood to be planning to lease the building from the council, but it has since transpired that Ardmore directors such as CEO Siún Ní Raghallaigh are also involved in Troy Studios.
“We’re delighted to be working with Troy Studios in facilitating the company in its plans to establish a significant media hub for film and television production in Limerick,” commented Conn Murray, CEO of Limerick City and County Council.
“This is an extremely welcome development as it presents a diverse range of opportunities for the wider arts, crafts and culture sector in the region, and particularly those undertaking third-level digital media courses in Limerick.”
Updated 29 July at 21.14: This article was updated to correct the inaccuracy that Dell’s Castletroy facility closed in 2009. Castletroy closed in 2003 when all Dell manufacturing was centralised at Raheen. It was Raheen that closed in 2009.
Film studio image via Shutterstock