Construction of six new purpose-built film and television studios is expected to generate 250 construction jobs during the build and around 1,000 creative industry jobs on completion.
The proposed development will quadruple the size of the existing Belfast Harbour Film Studio complex.
Phase one of the Belfast Harbour Studio development opened three years ago at Giant’s Park on the north foreshore with two 32,000 sq ft studios and 125,000 sq ft of overall production space. This is currently occupied by a major film production company.
Belfast Harbour now intends to develop four additional 21,000 sq ft studios and two 16,000 sq ft studios as well as up to 100,000 sq ft of production offices and 130,000 sq ft of support workshops on an adjoining 20-acre site.
In total, the project represents more than 346,000 sq ft of additional production facilities which, when combined with phase one, will create the UK’s largest studio complex outside of the southeast of England.
Depending on planning permission, the aim is to start construction on phase two later this year with completion of the new studios scheduled for 2021.
Belfast Harbour chief executive Joe O’Neill said: “In recent years Belfast has established itself as one of the UK’s top media production hubs. In 2017 we invested £20m to provide brand new studio facilities but with record levels of demand for studio space globally we are confident the time is right to progress with phase two of the development.”
Richard Williams, CEO of Northern Ireland Screen, said that global demand for studio space was at an all-time high. “With Disney and Apple joining Netflix and Amazon in investing in the launch of their own on-demand streaming services, there is no end in sight to the demand for high-end, high-cost content,” he said.