CinÉireann Issue 9 - Page 9

Limerick's film production facility, Troy Studios, has announced major expansion plans this morning, adding a fourth sound stage and allowing for two simultaneous productions to take place on site. The aim is to double the amount of inward investment into the region and double the amount of employment.

It was also announced that Troy Studios in collaboration with the University of Limerick is in the process of extending the current Executive MBA offering to include a special focus on the business of content production, which will be the first MBA of its kind in Europe.

Following significant private investment of some €6.5 million to date, Troy Studios is currently home to a 350,000 sq. ft. hub for content creation, which includes 70,000 sq ft of studio space across three sound stages, as well as offices and suites of support facilities. The new expansion will add an additional sound stage of 33,000 sq ft and sets the height available for internal productions at 50 ft. Construction is anticipated to be completed during 2019, subject to planning permission, and will provide up to 150 jobs during the construction phase. When complete it will position Troy as the largest international standard film and TV studio in Ireland.

In addition to the sound stages Troy Studios boasts workshop space, props and costume space, production offices, hair and makeup rooms, dressing rooms, parking for up to 520 cars, a large restaurant, and a 5-acre backlot.

Most recently the facility played host to Universal Cable Productions' sci-fi series Nightflyers, based on the

novella for Game of Thrones author George R,R, Martin. That series, which

stars Gretchen Mol, Eoin Macken, and Brian F O’Byrne, will air soon on US

network SyFy and on Netflix internationally. That series saw, on average, more than 300 people working on set each day during the production.

"Since its opening in 2017, Troy Studios has positioned itself as a world-class production hub for large-scale film and television productions. Troy's new investment plan to increase studio capacity will be a further driver to grow Ireland's €1.1 billion audio-visual industry, to create more employment and take best advantage of the global increase in the demand for content. Ultimately it will enable multiple productions use Troy concurrently.

An incredible 'can-do' attitude from our investors, State and educational partners in the region, has all resulted in a collaboration that has quickly established a world class studio infrastructure and a new growing talent base for Ireland to accommodate more international and national productions. Today's news is another step to firmly place Ireland on the global film and television map. We have completed our first production which directly employed 320 people during its nine month duration contributing €53m to the local economy. Expanding the studios increases our potential to drive further sustainable economic benefits locally and nationally into the future."

- Joe Devine, Chairman - Troy Studios

The global market for creative audio visual content is projected to grow at a rate of 30% over the next five years. It is a very exciting time for our industry. Studio providers such as us are facilitators. We offer the infrastructure and locations to enable the sector to produce their content. The environment internationally remains competitive but Ireland, with its Section 481 film tax credit and highly skilled workforce, has the potential to attract more international projects that will create hundreds of jobs and attract millions of euro in foreign direct investment to the economy. The Government has ambitions to double the number of jobs in the audiovisual sector and grow its value from €1.1 billion to €1.4billion and studio facilities is a critical part of the infrastructure necessary to deliver that growth. At Troy and indeed with our sister studio, Ardmore Studios in Bray, we look forward to playing a real positive role in that growth and success.

- Siún Ní Raghallaigh, CEO - Troy Studios

Troy Studios is a sister studio of Ardmore Studios in Bray, Co. Wicklow. Ossie Kilkenny, Director Troy Studios, speaking today thanked those without whose help Troy would never have happened, such as Liam McElligott and his team at Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership; Conn Murray and his team at Limerick City and County Council as well as the construction team including architects Carr & Associates and builder Martin Harty.

Troy Studios states it has received significant positive support to build a skill-base in the region. In partnership with Screen Training Ireland, Limerick and Clare ETB, LIT¡¯s Limerick School of Art and Design and University of Limerick. It has hosted six training events since 2016 and instigated an ongoing series of Troy Talks ¨C offering discussion events with internationally recognised guest speakers from the industry. It has also been instrumental in working with Innovate Limerick to establish the first Digital Hub and Production and Digital Skills Academy which provides a training pathway for employment in the industry.

An application to Limerick City & County Council for the construction of the fourth sound stage within the existing site and structure has been submitted.

CinÉireann / Issue 9 9