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Ardmore Studio workers to hold public meeting

Workers from Ardmore Studio will be holding a public meeting to discuss the future of the Bray studios. Following last year’s announcement that the studio would be sold as a going concern, the future of the business has been in turmoil. A public meeting will be held in the Royal Hotel, Bray on January 25 at 7.30pm and all those who are interested in or have views on what happens to Ardmore Studios are invited to attend.

Invitations have been extended to all the councillors, the five Wicklow TDs, Enterprise Ireland and Ministers Heather Humphreys and Mary Mitchell O’Connor. The delegation of workers have said that they want the government to commit to retaining their stake in Ardmore. They want to ensure that the land stays zoned for film and television purposes and that the small area of land that had been rezoned for residential use be returned to film and television use.

Support for ardmore workers

At a meeting with Wicklow County Councillors before Christmas, workers were told that they had the complete support of councillors. At the same meeting, Minister Humphreys stated that as far as she and the government were concerned the studio was being sold as a going concern and would continue to be used as a film studio. However, in the weeks since, a prospectus of sale for Ardmore was released and was found to contain a full page dedicated to the potential for residential development on the site.

Last year was a record year for film and television production and the desire to film in Ireland continues to grow. Industry insiders have said that to close down Ardmore Studios would have a detrimental effect on the filming industry in Ireland. It has been rumoured that Joe Devine, financier and chairman of Limerick’s Troy Studios is considering a bid for Ardmore. Graham Waters, a representative for film workers, has said that business is booming and that the demand is out there. As a county and a nation, there needs to be more purpose-built studio facilities rather than fewer.

With some 400 jobs at the studio going to local workers and the additional revenue the studio brings in to the local economy, the closure of Ardmore Studios is a worry for the entire county. Those organising the upcoming public meeting are hoping that people all around Wicklow will attend and have their say in the future of the studio.

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