Tax-break take back emptying Limerick film studio

Limerick's Troy Studios

SLASHING tax credits for the film industry in the regions has all but emptied Limerick’s Troy Studios, an Oireachtas Committee was told.

Aspirations that the studio would make Limerick a vibrant centre for filmmaking have been severely hampered with Troy’s occupancy dropping from a high of 95 per cent to just five per cent, the Oireachtas media committee heard.

Located in Castletroy on the former Dell factory site, Troy Studios was seen as a huge positive after the computer giants pulled out of Limerick with huge job losses.

Elaine Geraghty, managing director of Ardmore and Troy Studios, said the additional tax incentive for regional production had been of “significant importance” to the rationale for Ardmore’s former owner to purchase Troy.

She said that the Limerick studio  “immediately witnessed the negative impact” as international productions voted with their feet and chose other countries for their projects.

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“The first three years were very busy, almost 95 per cent occupancy, and I’d say there has been about five per cent in the last two years.”

Both Ardmore Studios and Troy were acquired in 2021 by US studio group Hackman Capital Partners. Ms Geraghty said the company was “very committed” to Troy and that it was “not listed for sale”.

It is currently seeking a “big” returning television production that will help occupy the 350,000sq-ft facility for “two to three years”.

A small-scale production recently based in Troy calculated the additional cost of producing outside the Dublin-Wicklow production hub was eight per cent, Ms Geraghty added.