WEST Cork could have its very own film studio if a planning application by the Skibbereen furniture manufacturer O’Donnell Design is successful.
When film crews came to West Cork for the production of The Sparrow, and the Graham Norton TV series Holding, O’Donnell Design had an involvement in both productions.
It is understood that a member of the company was the marine consultant for Holding, while other members of the West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue team worked on The Sparrow.
The nearest film studio is in Limerick, so if this project gets the go ahead it is likely to attract more film makers to West Cork.
If the company’s application for the ‘change of use’ is successful, it proposes to use the factory site at Poundlick, Baltimore Road, as a place not only to make sets, but also as a dedicated film set.
It is understood that the spend of Holding was in the region of €10m last year, but that the film industry nationally is worth an estimated €500m per annum.
Such a development would have phenomenal benefits for West Cork. Holding was reported to have spent in the region of €700,000 on accommodation alone, but the production company also employed lots of people from taxi drivers to bus operators, furniture makers, make-up artists, hairdressers and, of course, marine consultants.
A decision on the application for change of use of part of the O’Donnell Design building – from furniture making to proposed use as a film set and for the construction of film sets, all proposed uses to be within part of the existing factory building – is due on March 28th.