Posted by in News.

Allan Mulrooney
Head of Communications and AEC Development

8 August, 2021

Atlantic Studios, a new state of the art, 40,000 sq ft, high tech Film and TV Studio, proposed for Galway has been given the green light to move to planning stage with the aim of being open for business for the Summer of 2022.  The planned film and TV production studios are proposed for development at part of the site of the former Galway Airport.  Atlantic Studios, has agreement in principal for a long term lease with the owners of the site, Galway City and Galway County Councils. The project is supported by the Western Development Commission, Údarás na Gaeltachta and a range of industry stakeholders.

This exciting and creative project for Galway City, County and the Wild Atlantic Way will be developed on a phased basis. The initial, first phase, will involve creative development of the existing hangar building space to provide over 40,000 sq ft of film and TV studio space, along with offices and suites of support facilities. Atlantic Studios’ strategic plan and key driver for the development is to capitalise on the global increase in Film and TV Production as a result of increased streaming of high end drama.

Phase two of the development will include additional studio space  with the objective of the Atlantic Studios facility becoming a prime location and media cluster or hub for production companies, who are focused on delivering key services to support film and TV production.

The initial investment in the Atlantic Studios development is expected to yield €10 to €15 million per annum to the Galway economy while creating between 150 and 200 production specific jobs. A key economic driver for Galway,  Atlantic Studios will also showcase the talent, facilities and stunning scenic locations of Galway, and the West, to the world. In addition, Atlantic Studios will fulfill the potential of Galway and the West of Ireland as a key location for high scale movie and TV production. This development also ensures that Galway is central to Government’s policy making for Ireland as a world centre of high quality film and TV Drama production.

The WDC welcomes progress on the development of the Atlantic Studios and sees it a key resource to support and grow the audio-visual sector in the Western Region.

Gillian Buckley, Investment Manager WDC

According to Gillian Buckley, Investment Manager with the WDC it builds on the region’s rich tradition in the creative industries sector and offers a huge opportunity to attract new TV and Film productions, providing a broad range of employment opportunities to retain our talented creative people and encourage new entrants.  Gillian commented,  “The Atlantic Studios development will have great synergies with other strategic initiatives that the WDC has developed over the past decade; the Creative West Report, a blueprint for the development of the industry in the region, the WRAP Fund, a dedicated fund for the audio-visual sector, the Micro-Loan Fund for the Creative Industries and CREW – a bespoke hub for the creative digital sector.”

Atlantic Studio has been established by Danú Media, a Galway based production company.  Atlantic Studios has the support of the Western Development Commission, Údarás na Gaeltachta and a wide range of industry stakeholders, including Screen Ireland and Galway Film Centre.

Siobhán Ní Ghadhra, Atlantic Studios Director said “we have a strong strategic plan and vision for what it can deliver for Galway and the West and Ireland as a whole. This development will be crucial to fulfilling the current lack of availability of appropriate full service studio space in Ireland’s audio visual sector. Growth has been severely restricted in the sector as a result.”

John Brady of Atlantic Studios went on to say, “Today’s announcement is an important step in the right direction, as Galway has a long standing history of TV and Film production. The establishment of Atlantic Studios will allow us and Galway to attract large scale international projects to shoot here in the West which will also have an obvious spin off for the local economy and the tourism industry.  It is an exciting initiative and we look forward to progressing the plans with Galway City and County Council to bring this project to fruition and to placing Galway on the international map in 2022.”

Ireland is recognised globally as an attractive shooting location for film and TV productions with many leading productions  availing of the tax credits available to the film and TV industry and this development will support Galway as a location for increased business in this sector.

Alan Duggan, Manager of Galway Film Centre:   “We at Galway Film Centre are delighted that both Galway city and county councils have backed this proposal. A Film Studio of this scale in Galway will be an enormous boost to production in the West of Ireland and will provide significant opportunities for the development of regional talent. This is the kind of infrastructure development for which we and our colleagues in the Western AV Forum have been advocating for some time”.

Atlantic Studios was set up by Danú Media, which was established in 2015 by John Brady and Siobhán Ní Ghadhra. Based in  the coastal village of Spiddal, in the Connemara Gaeltacht in south Co. Galway to produce high quality television and feature drama, for both the domestic and international markets.  Offering a full package of services to any incoming production, Danú Media has a strong and well established track record in the area of co-production and the principals have experience across all areas of production and also the added advantage of having a local and experienced crew base, whom they have worked with consistently for many years.   In late 2016, Danú Media acquired the production company, Eo Teilifís, and also the studio facility where the successful long running Irish Language,  TV drama series Ros na Rún is filmed and produced for over 20 years.