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Ireland film studio plans expansion

Vikings in IrelandAshford Studios near Dublin in Ireland is planning to spend €90m on four additional sound stages and a new TV facility.

Businessman Joe O’Connell used €25m of his own money to build the existing Ashford Studios facility, which offers three stages and various production facilities. He may use his own funds again if he gets planning permission for the expansion plan, he told the Irish Independent.

Ashford Studios has had great success hosting History Channel’s long-running drama series Vikings (pictured) and O’Connell says more can be done to compete with Northern Ireland, as well as Ireland’s European neighbours.

“Amazon, Netflix and all the networks need space for their growing TV and film production work,” the businessman told the Independent. “Other countries are fighting to do the same as us, including Northern Ireland and our neighbours, so there's always that competition.

“Studios want purpose-built, state-of-the-art spaces, and this is what we're trying to give them. If this second phase is successful, we have space to add nine more studios here.”

Ireland’s production industry is largely based in and around Dublin, where producers can also use five stages at Ardmore Studios just outside the city in Bray. Ardmore has hosted high-profile TV shoots like Penny Dreadful and Moone Boy, plus the Film4-backed feature Frank.

As a country, Ireland offers a generous filming incentive programme and in the coming weeks will host more scenes for the continuing Star Wars franchise, which will shoot on the west coast’s Wild Atlantic Way.

For more on filming in Ireland see our production guide.

Image: The History Channel

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