Plans for new film studios to be built in Belfast were unveiled to the global screen industry at the Chairwoman’s Lunch in Cannes today.
Rotha Johnston, Chairwoman, Northern Ireland Screen, welcomed the Belfast Harbour Commissioners to the packed event where their Chairman, Dr David Dobbin CBE addressed the enthusiastic audience, which included Oscar-winning producer Paul Brett, Chairman of the BFI Josh Berger and Minister of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey.
Set on more than 340 acres, Belfast Harbour Studios will offer 64,000 sq ft of studio space plus workshops and extensive office space, further boosting Northern Ireland’s credentials as a first-class film and television production location.
The new studios will incorporate a high-performance acoustic envelope, high-level walkways and rigging gantries and a controllable internal environment to suit the full spectrum of film production uses.
The two new purpose-built sound stages, each 32,000 sq ft, will be capable of integrating to a combined single use as one large space with an eaves height of approximately 61 ft.
The site includes two additional workshops of 11,000 sq ft each and 36,000 sq ft of purpose-built high-quality production offices.
Work has begun at the site at Belfast’s Giant’s Park and it is expected that the studios, which have been self-funded with £20 million worth of investment from Belfast Harbour, will open for business in early 2017.
This latest addition to Northern Ireland’s studios portfolio further increases the region’s appeal to large-scale incoming productions, which can also avail of Northern Ireland Screen’s attractive regional production funding.
Welcoming the announcement Richard Williams, CEO, Northern Ireland Screen, said; “This further investment in new studio infrastructure is great news and, with international demand for studio space in Northern Ireland at a record high, they are a timely addition to our production landscape. The new sound stages, along with Titanic Studios, currently home to HBO’s Game of Thrones, as well as the Britvic Facility which has housed Universal Pictures, will add great value to our overall proposition and position Northern Ireland as a very strong contender within the global screen industry.”