Major film production centre plan for Galway

Plans by a Galway-based company to locate a major centre for international film and TV productions have been submitted to the consultants charged with drawing up a long-term strategy for Galway Airport.

The proposals have already been likened to Titanic Studios in Belfast, where the cult TV phenomenon ‘Game of Thrones’ is filmed.

The plans earmark the two existing hangars on the 115-acre site for shooting films and TV shows, as well as office, rehearsal and wardrobe space, while the runway would remain in use for private charters.

It comes less than one month after the Galway City Tribune reported the Chamber of Commerce’s ‘vision’ for a creative media cluster on the airport site – which includes film studios.

Senator Fidelma Healy Eames said the economic advantages of locating studios on the site are “mind-blowing”.

“Looking to Belfast, we can see how the Titanic Studio which attracted the smash hit series the Game of Thrones secured £82 million to the local economy, both in direct employment and also indirect expenditure in the area, such as accommodation and local business suppliers.

“Belfast has also gained substantial tourism revenue and exposure due to the filming of the series in the city.

“It would make accessible a well-located creative hub with the potential of attracting massive film business and would be a feather in our cap for the important Galway bid for the European Capital of Culture 2020.

“I have been contacted by one of the members of the team following receipt of their expansive proposal. On so many levels the development of a ‘creative hub’ that maximises our film and TV capacity, and builds on our recent prestigious, UNESCO City of Film, award make complete sense.

“Our city has the highest concentration of film and television production outside the Dublin/Wicklow area and is home to numerous award-winning companies.

“In order to maximise our current potential the Galway-based industry now requires a large studio facility to create the necessary infrastructure to attract large projects and also to act as a ‘creative hub’.”

For more details on this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune