New creative hub in Rathnew opens for business

The Screen Hub is part of a strategy by Wicklow County Council to boost job creation in the film, TV and content creation industry in County Wicklow and the surrounding Mid East region. It is already being used by well-known Irish actor, Chris O’Dowd, for a new production.

Clermont Screen Hub, a new facility for content creators located at Wicklow County Campus in Rathnew, was officially opened today (Thursday 26th October) by Mr Simon Coveney, TD, Minster for Enterprise, Trade and Employment in the presence of Cathaoirleach Cllr Aoife Flynn Kennedy and Chief Executive Emer O’Gorman.

Clermont Screen Hub offers a mix of private and co-working spaces attractively set around a suite of social spaces, a conference centre, podcast studio, and screening facilities, along with access to a range of meeting spaces and training facilities on the larger Wicklow County Campus.

The Content Creation Hub was built with support from the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment’s Regional Enterprise Development Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland, along with match funding provided by Wicklow County Council.

Speaking at the opening, Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment Simon Coveney said: “Clermont Screen Hub is a testament to the Government’s ongoing commitment to nurturing and growing the Irish film industry and all the fantastic companies and talented individuals that are part of it.

“This project, which stands as a beacon of opportunity for the Mid-East region, is supported by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment through Enterprise Ireland under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund. We are delighted to support this key piece of infrastructure for this global sector and welcome the invaluable partnership between government, Wicklow County Council and the industry which have made this initiative possible.”

Carol Gibbons, Manager, Regions and Local Enterprise, Enterprise Ireland stated: “The Clermont Screen Hub is a state-of-the-art facility that will nurture talent and innovation in the film and content production sector. The success of Irish companies and individuals in the creative arena is a testament to the immense, strong emerging talent of the Irish digital entertainment sector here and this facility will provide more fledgling businesses with the support, guidance and collaboration they require to bring their ideas to the next level.

“Our artistic and VFX skills are recognised globally and over the last number of years a coordinated effort to increase investment and collaborate with industry both at home and abroad has led to huge strides for the sector. We are delighted to support the Clermont screen Hub, which will support the great talent emerging here while providing a platform to promote Irish production to a global audience.”

The Hub aims to become the home for content creators throughout the Mid East region and realises an important part of the objectives in the Mid East Regional Plan to develop the region as a hub for content creation.

It is also the latest step in the ongoing development of Wicklow County Campus as a centre of excellence in Third Level education, innovation and job creation.

Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Aoife Flynn Kennedy, stated: “I’m truly delighted to open the doors of this important development for our ever-expanding film and television sector. As I’m surrounded by film makers and industry professionals, I don’t need to remind you here how County Wicklow has long been punching above it’s weight in terms of producing high quality feature films and television productions.

“We now see the development of unscripted projects being made locally with the production of the Gordon Ramsay show ‘Next Level Chef’ in Ashford Studios creating further job opportunities. The Hub is a very exciting development for Wicklow which demonstrates that the Council continues to be proactive in promoting the local screen industry and supporting businesses in the sector.  This building represents the continued growth of a long and productive association between the film industry and County Wicklow.”

Emer O’Gorman, Chief Executive, Wicklow County Council, added: “The opening of this Hub brings to fruition one of the County Council’s objectives outlined in the Mid East Regional Enterprise Plan, which seeks to establish the Mid East as a hub for content creators. This industry is an important employer in the county and the strong interest from prospective tenants demonstrates that this project is aligned with the needs of the screen sector. Todays’ launch also marks an important milestone for the development of Wicklow County Campus as driver of innovation, economic development and job creation.”

Stakeholders in the screen industry as well as development agencies and training providers were widely consulted in the development of this project which aims to boost job creation in the film and content creation industry, particularly focusing on productions in County Wicklow.

The Hub has become a hive of activity since it’s soft opening in July and, with plenty of early interest from the industry, it is currently at full capacity already with the Chris O’Dowd production for Sky, ‘Small Town, Big Stories,’ taking up most of the office space.

The new Hub is adjacent to the offices of Screen Wicklow, a division of Wicklow County Council and a single point of contact for all filming inquiries. Screen Wicklow is dedicated to making film, television or commercial photography shoots run as smoothly as possible when on location in the Garden of Ireland.

Amongst the tenants in the hub is the Film and TV Crew Academy East, one of the five National Talent Academies, funded by Screen Ireland and tasked with upskilling new and existing crew.

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