A planning application that will quadruple the size of the Belfast Harbour Film Studio complex has been filed with Belfast City Council.
The proposed £45m project, if approved, will make Belfast a major centre in the industry and generate 250 construction jobs and support around 1,000 creative industry roles.
Phase one of the Belfast Harbour Studio development opened three years ago at Giant's Park with two 32,000 sq ft studios and 125,000 sq ft of overall production space.
The space has been used for a number of major productions including SyFy's Krypton TV series and 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. There will also be 130,000 sq ft of support workshops on a 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 largest studio complex outside the south east of England.
Located in Giant's Park on the North Foreshore, the expanded facility will also provide additional facilities that will realise Belfast Harbour's ambitions to create a leading European media hub.
Joe O'Neill, Belfast Harbour's chief executive, 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.
"The location is highly accessible, is serviced by ultra-high speed internet connections and benefits from a skilled local workforce that has proven its ability to help deliver some of the world's best film and television content.
"This new studio complex will build on Northern Ireland's already impressive international reputation and generate around 1,000 creative industry jobs across a wide variety of disciplines."
Belfast Harbour will start construction on phase two later this year with completion of the new studios scheduled for 2021.
Richard Williams, chief executive of Northern Ireland Screen, said the rise of Netflix, Disney and Apple TV has led to an "unprecedented" demand for studio space globally.
"Belfast Harbour's support for the screen industries in Northern Ireland is exemplary, and their vision for phase two of Belfast Harbour Studios is inspired," he said.
"It is a development that will help Northern Ireland to become the largest screen sector in the UK and Ireland outside of the south east of England."
This article was first seen on https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/northern-ireland/45m-plan-will-give-northern-ireland-one-of-uks-largest-film-studio-sites-38961543.html