630 film industry jobs coming to Borleigh Manor

By Dan Walsh in Gorey

Cllr Donal Kenny, Chair of the Gorey Kilmuckridge Municipal District was delighted to welcome the news of the Tara film studios at Borleigh Manor, Kilanerin, which itself is very fitting given its historical association with Hollywood actors in the past. Up to 650 jobs will be created in the film industry.

CLLR DONAL KENNY, Chair Gorey Kilmucjridge Municipal District.

Speaking to WexfordLocal.com following yesterday’s (Monday) monthly meeting, where the news of the successful planning application was announced, Cllr Kenny said; “I am delighted to see this investment which will have a positive impact for local businesses and communities. Wexford has a strong reputation for people with skills in the construction sector and during the building phase and when the film studios are up and running will bring jobs to the Gorey area in terms of tourism, food and supply side opportunities. 

“We have great people in North Wexford and organisations such as the Gorey School of Art who will be delighted to support opportunities for people to get into the film sector and develop their careers. 

“This announcement will really put North Wexford on the map given the calibre of the highly experienced people behind the project. I am delighted on behalf of the elected members and the people of Gorey Kilmuckridge Municipal District to welcome the news today of this investment and I want to congratulate all involved”.

The news was broken during today’s meeting in Gorey Civic Centre and confirmed by Liz Hore, Director of Services. It was welcomed by all members including Cllr Anthony Donohoe and Cllr Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin who told the meeting; “This news is ground -breaking for the whole south-east. Borleigh Manor was once the home of Richard Greene (Robin Hood) and was visited by Elizabeth Taylor and other big film stars from the past.” Cllr Ó Súilleabháin said it was great for engineers, Screen Wexford, the Arts Officer etc., and brilliant for the South East.

RICHARD GREENE.. famous actor who played Robin Hood in the TV series from 1955 until 1959 and lived at Borleigh Manor from ca-1966 to 1972.

Cllr George Lawlor, Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council was delighted to announce the green light by An Bord Pleanála for the Tara Film Studios development for North Wexford.  He stated that the film studios were a major uplift to the economy of Wexford and Ireland’s eastern corridor, demonstrating the strategic strengths of Wexford’s motorway connectivity to Dublin creating a major film hub for the industry. 

“This is one of the most exciting developments to create real jobs for the people of Wexford and I am delighted as the Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council to applaud Tara Film studios for their vision and commitment to Wexford with this significant investment project”, said Cllr Lawlor, who added further that earlier this year he had held very productive meetings with the Savannah Film Commission about developing further potential economic partnerships with Wexford and that Tara Studios would cement this opportunity, particularly in nurturing skills and talent for the film industry across a range of sectors. 

Tom Enright, Chief Executive of Wexford County Council highlighted how the announcement was a significant boost to the local economy and a real gamechanger for the County. He outlined that the planning permission was granted by Wexford County Council in January of last year and then went to An Bord Pleanála who approved the planning permission for the major strategic project today. 

“The investment by Tara studios will see the construction of seven studio stages, ten workshops and two office buildings, demonstrating the scale of the investment for North Wexford. I am delighted to see the economic benefits of this project which, with a major film production could create 630 jobs in Wexford, which is the equivalent of three major IDA announcements.  This does not capture the employment gains in the construction phase with 120 jobs expected followed by indirect employment opportunities in terms of maintenance contracts, equipment supply, set design and landscaping”.

BORLEIGH MANOR, near Kilanerin, pictured in 1919. Photo courtesy of 100 Wexford County Houses, (pub. 1996 and revised edition in 2001) researched and compiled by Dan Walsh.

Mr Enright stated this was one of the “best days for the County and Wexford County Council positioned the film industry as one of our job creation pillars in recognition of the vibrant cultural assets in the county and growth in the global film and television sector.  We established Screen Wexford to ensure the right skills and training to support the industry and create as much local employment as possible.  This really positions Wexford’s reputation as an investment location and an ideal place to do business.” 

Al Butler is the film co-ordinator with Screen Wexford which is an initiative of the Arts and Economic sections of Wexford County Council. He stated that Screen Wexford are incredibly excited about the news of planning being granted for Tara Studios in North Wexford. This announcement is a real catalyst for the film industry in County Wexford.

“We have a huge amount of creative talent and stunning film locations, but the addition of Tara studios takes the local film industry to another level. Tara Studios will provide incredible cultural and employment opportunities for County Wexford and Screen Wexford are looking forward to being able to support national and international productions and to working on the development of new and experienced Wexford-based talent in the screen sector”.

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