A new seven-studio filmmaking facility is being built in Kilanereen, just outside Gorey, Co Wexford, after the project finally received approval from An Bord Pleanála (ABP). Initially approved by Wexford County Council (WCC) in 2020, Tara Film Studios was put on hold for 19 months after lodging an objection with the ABP.
ut announced yesterday that the project has been approved and the development at Borley Manor can be implemented immediately. Local councilor Fionntan Ó Súilleabháin lives in the parish where Tara Studios is based and said the development was reminiscent of Hollywood’s golden age.
“This is very exciting for an area with enormous potential in terms of employment, training, tourism, culture and the arts,” said Cllr Ó Súilleabháin. “I grew up here hearing stories of Hollywood greats like Liz Taylor, Cary Grant, and Richard Burton staying at Borley Manor when it was owned by Robin Hood actor Richard Green, so to have that connection is extra special.
“With the promise of hundreds of jobs and many other spin-offs locally, it’s a very exciting time for the local area and beyond.”
120 jobs are expected to be created for the construction of the project with a potential of 630 jobs after the opening of Tara Studios. Cathaoirleach of the WCC, Councilor George Lawlor said the studios would prove a major boost to the economy of Wexford and Ireland’s Eastern Corridor, demonstrating the strategic strength of Wexford’s motorway connectivity to Dublin and creating a major film hub for the industry.
“This is one of the most exciting developments to bring real jobs to the people of Wexford and I am delighted as Cathoirleach of Wexford County Council to commend Tara Film Studios for their vision and commitment to Wexford with this important investment project,” he said. .
Cllr Donal Kenny, Chair of Gorey Kilmuckridge Municipal District, said: “I am delighted to see this investment which will have a positive impact on local businesses and communities. Wexford has a strong reputation for skilled people in the construction sector and is in the construction phase, and with film studios running and the Gore area in terms of tourism, food and supply side opportunities, jobs will come.
“We have great people in North Wexford and institutions like Gore School of Art are delighted to offer opportunities for people to enter the film industry and develop their careers. This announcement really puts North Wexford on the map given the calibre, from the most experienced people behind the project.
Tom Enright, Chief Executive of Wexford County Council, highlighted that the announcement was a significant boost to the local economy and a real game changer for the county. He explained that the WCC had granted planning permission in January last year, and then went to the An Bord Pleana, where he today approved planning permission for the major strategic project.
“Tara Studios’ investment will see the construction of seven studio stages, ten workshops and two office buildings, demonstrating the scale of investment for North Wexford. I am delighted to see the economic benefits of this project which could create 630 jobs with a major film production in Wexford, the equivalent of three major IDA announcements.
“This does not capture the expected employment gains of 120 jobs during the construction phase, followed by indirect employment opportunities in terms of maintenance contracts, equipment supply, set design and landscaping.”
Mr Enright said the announcement: “Recognition of the county’s vibrant cultural assets and growth in the global film and television sector has positioned the film industry as one of WCC’s pillars of job creation. We have established Screen Wexford to support the industry and ensure the right skills and training to create as many local jobs as possible. It truly is Wexford’s Maintains reputation as an investment destination and ideal place to do business.
Al Butler is film co-ordinator with Screen Wexford, an initiative of WCC’s arts and economic departments, and Tara Studios Co has the potential to be a “real catalyst” for the film industry in Wexford.
“We have a huge pool of creative talent and amazing film locations, but the addition of Tara Studios will take the local film industry to another level. Tara Studios provides excellent cultural and employment opportunities for County Wexford and Screen Wexford and look forward to supporting national and international productions and working to develop new and experienced Wexford-based talent in the screen sector.