A £45 million expansion for Belfast Harbour Studios means the future looks bright for Northern Ireland’s TV and film industry.
In an amazing £45 million investment, Belfast Harbour has submitted an application for a plan to extend its film studios. This expansion could mean the creation of 1,000 brand new jobs in our country’s creative industry sector, which sounds amazing to us.
The plan would quadruple the current size of the Belfast Harbour Studio complex, and it would continue to show the world how much of a leading centre in the creative media industry Ireland truly is.
Our film and television industry has skyrocketed in recent years, anchored by the success of Game of Thrones, which had its main studio set at Titanic Studios in Belfast. This new 45-million–pound expansion will hopefully see our industry go from strength to strength.
Read on for all the info regarding it!
What does the expansion entail?
We’re glad you asked.
The application is for the development of six new purpose-built film and television studios. Phase one of this development actually began three years ago with the opening of two 32,000 square-foot studios at Giant’s Park on the North Foreshadow. The two studios also included 125,000 square feet of overall production space.
These studios have been used for major productions—SyFy’s Krypton TV series as one example.
Belfast Harbour plans to further develop four additional 21,000 square-foot studios and two 16,000 square-foot studios. Basically, all this means there will be a lot of room for production companies to work with.
They also plan on creating 130,000 square feet of support workshops on an adjoining 20-acre site. Combined with phase one of the plan, this Belfast Harbour Studios expansion will see the largest studio complex outside of the South East of England.
Belfast Harbour chief executive Joe O’Neill gave his thoughts on the 45-million–pound expansion, saying: “The location is highly accessible, is serviced by ultra-high-speed internet connections and benefits from a skilled local workforce that has proven its ability to help deliver some of the world’s best film and television content.
“This new studio complex will build on Northern Ireland‘s already impressive international reputation and generate around 1,000 creative industry jobs across a wide variety of disciplines.”
He continued: “In recent years Belfast has established itself as one of the UK’s top media production hubs.
“In 2017 we invested £20 million to provide brand new studio facilities but with record levels of demand for studio space globally we are confident the time is right to progress with phase two of the development.”
When will it be going ahead?
Once Belfast Harbour Studios get the green light on their planning permission, construction is expected to start later this year. The actual completion of the new studios is expected sometime in 2021. That’s all we know for now.