_85165360_2014shackleton A film studio company that has recently started renting the former Shackleton army base in Ballykelly has said it would like to buy the full site. The base has been on the market since it was given to the Northern Ireland Executive by the Ministry of Defence in 2011. There has been at least one failed attempt to sell the site. Most of the 720 acre site is open space, empty offices, and aircraft hangars and there are two airstrips. Although demolition has taken place in one corner of the site that the Department of Agriculture plans to move into. Jo Gilbert brought the first films to studios in east Belfast which incorporate Harland and Wolff shipyard's former Paint Hall building. The Paint Hall studio has become world famous as the home of Game of Thrones. Her company has now leased the Shackleton base and is turning it into production office and studio space to rent out to production teams for film and television shoots. "We are here for the long term," she said. "This site is absolutely tailor made to develop a whole new centre of excellence for the media and creative industries." The army left the site in 2008, and much has become overgrown, but Ms Gilbert is using old army accommodation to house cast and crew. One production is currently on site and will begin filming next week. The film called Property of the State, is the first in a line of productions already on the books. Generous tax breaks, access to locations both north and south of the border, and space to film pretty much anything you want are what Ms Gilbert thinks are the key attractions to Ballykelly. "There's lots of interest from the States, this is a place with so much potential, we will have five productions running concurrently on this site," she added. A British production of Jeffery Archer's prison diaries is one of a number of films that will arrive on site in the next few weeks. This would be a very welcome addition to Northern Ireland with both the current studios being east coast (Belfast, Banbridge) it would be great to see a studio appearing in the west of the country.

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Shackleton army base, Ballykelly Northern Ireland: Film studio firm would like to buy site

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2 thoughts on “Shackleton army base, Ballykelly Northern Ireland: Film studio firm would like to buy site

  • 21st September 2015 at 1:52 pm
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    Hi Michael,

    do you have a means of contacting the studio? Im looking for any available jobs at the moment, are you involved there yourself?

    thanks

    Reply
    • Michael
      21st September 2015 at 2:06 pm
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      Hi Richard, I’m not in any way involved other than I hope I get the opportunity to film there at some stage (or any where else lol)

      I would try contacting NI Screen, as they lease most of the studios in NI I believe. Sorry I can’t be of any more help.

      Northern Ireland Screen
      3rd Floor Alfred House
      21 Alfred Street
      Belfast, BT2 8ED
      Northern Ireland
      T: +44 (28) 9023 2444
      F: +44 (28) 9023 9918
      E: info@northernirelandscreen.co.uk

      Reply

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