Troy Studios occupancy down to 5% as screen industry calls for new regional supports

State urged to improve film and TV tax credits to prevent loss of productions to UK and other competitors

Limerick’s Troy Studios saw its occupancy slashed to just 5 per cent as a regional uplift to the section 481 screen industry tax credit tapered off and expired, the Oireachtas media committee heard on Wednesday.

Elaine Geraghty, managing director of Ardmore and Troy Studios, said the additional tax incentive for regional production had been of “significant importance” to the rationale for Ardmore’s former owner to purchase Troy.

But the studios, located in Castletroy on the site of the former Dell factory, “immediately witnessed the negative impact” of its removal and lost out as international productions chose to locate in other countries instead.

“The first three years were very busy, almost 95 per cent occupancy, and I’d say there has been about 5 per cent in the last two years,” she said.


Both Ardmore Studios and Troy Studios were acquired in 2021 by US studio group Hackman Capital Partners. Ms Geraghty said the company was “very committed” to Troy and that it was “not listed for sale”. It is seeking a “big” returning television production that will help occupy the 350,000sq ft facility for “two to three years”.

A small-scale production recently based in Troy calculated that the additional cost of producing outside the main Dublin-Wicklow production hub was 8 per cent, Ms Geraghty added.

The Oireachtas committee has been examining cross-industry calls for an incentive to replace the regional uplift, which initially brought the section 481 tax credit of 32 per cent up to 37 per cent for parts of the country in 2019 and 2020 before tapering off.

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Also addressing the committee, Screen Producers Ireland (SPI) called for the development of a 10-year strategy to boost regional production. Anthony Muldoon, director of strategic policy at SPI, said it was “crucial to address the obstacles the industry faces in the regions in order to remove them”.

The committee’s discussions follow a move by the UK to introduce tax relief of 40 per cent for films budgeted up to £15 million (€17.6 million). Ms Geraghty said this represented “an existential threat”.

Ronan McCabe, chief executive of Animation Ireland, said Ireland was “punching creatively well above our weight on the world stage”, but that the State had now fallen “well behind” other countries, including the UK, on the level of investment reliefs or production tax credits it offers.

He said this could lead to a loss of international business and potentially force Irish producers to consider transferring productions out of the State.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics