A Galway-based company has made approaches to elected members and officials with a view to transforming Galway Airport in Carnmore into a TV and film studio.
The South Connemara production company is currently in discussions with a number of overseas interests in relation to TV and film projects to be shot in Galway.
Danu Media is located in Inverin and is run by Emmy-award winning producer Siobhan Ní Gadhra and John Brady, who is also an award winning producer.
They have written to councillors and officials in Galway in the hope that part of the Galway Airport can be transformed into a television and film studio.
Such a plan has already been mooted by Galway Chamber of Commerce. They said that the two hangars would make ideal studios as they were the right size and right height. The runway would be maintained so that film stars could be flown in.
The airport at Carnmore is now in the joint ownership of Galway City and Galway County Councils. There are no longer any commercial flights arriving at the facility.
It has even been suggested that the old airport become the location of a new hospital but the development of film studios is the latest proposal for the site.
In a submission to elected representatives Siobhan Ní Gadhra said that Galway has the highest concentration of film and television production outside the Dublin and Wicklow areas.
“However, in order to grow, we believe that the industry requires a large studio facility to create the necessary infrastructure to attract large projects and also to act as a creative hub.
“Such a development in Galway would lead to job creation, additional tourism revenue and indirect spend in numerous other areas.
“It is also worth noting that Ireland has one of the most beneficial tax incentives in TV and Film production in the world, in order to attract international projects to shoot here.
“Over the years, we have been involved in attracting both local and international projects to the Galway area and I firmly believe that Galway has huge potential as a major centre for international television and film production”, Ms Ní Gadhra added.
She added that their company was currently in discussions with a number of overseas partners in relation to TV and film projects, to be shot in Galway and the surrounding areas.
“In 2014, when the Irish Film Board sought expressions of interest in relation to increasing studio space available in Ireland, our company submitted a plan to build a studio in Galway. While looking at available space, the potential of the Galway Airport site became apparent to us,” she said.
The film industry on the east coast developed primarily due to the existence of Ardmore, and more recently the new studio that opened in Ashford, County Wicklow.
Projects such as Ripper Street and Vikings, with local spends of €25–35 million per series, could not have been attracted without a large studio facility in place.