Fianna Fáil TD for Wicklow Pat Casey says he is concerned about the future of Ardmore Studio in Bray after it was confirmed that the Government will facilitate the sale of the studio.
Deputy Casey is calling on the Government to use its stake in Ardmore Studios to ensure its sale will only take place on the condition that the studio continues to be used for film production.
“Ardmore Studios has a proud tradition of film production here in Wicklow. It has been involved in the production of films which have gone on to win 14 Oscars and many BAFTA, Golden Globe and Emmy awards. 500 jobs are associated with Ardmore Studios when it is at full capacity, as it has been for the past two years,” said Deputy Casey.
“The local community were taken by surprise last week when it was announced that the studio is set to be sold as a ‘going concern’. People are worried about the future of their jobs and the film community has serious concerns about the possibility of film production shifting away from Wicklow.
“The Government, through Enterprise Ireland, has a 32% shareholding in Ardmore Studios. Accordingly the Government has a say in the future direction that the studio takes. I firmly believe that the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor should make the sale of the company conditional on the basis that it continues to operate as a film studio.
“Many people are worried that this sale is being used as an excuse to dispose of what is a viable film studio. Ardmore Studios occupies a 32 acre site, and suggestions have been made that property consortium’s are interested in purchasing the site in order to develop it. Film production will almost certainly come to an end of this comes to pass.
“Minister of State John Halligan recognised my concerns when I raised them in the Dáil. The Minister made a commitment to investigate the matter and I will be following up with him. It’s important that Ardmore Studios is given the opportunity to continue with film production,” said Deputy Casey.