Northern Ireland’s economy minister Gordon Lyons has announced a new £25.2 million virtual production studio will open in Belfast in 2024.
The complex, called Studio Ulster, is a joint project by Ulster University in partnership with Belfast Harbour and supported by Northern Ireland Screen.
The facility is described as a unique, large-scale virtual production studio complex with commercial stages, supported by an integrated R&D centre of excellence for real-time and virtual production.
Its 57,000 sq ft building will include two large-scale virtual production stages with in-camera visual effects stage, a motion capture stage, a 3D scanning stage for full body, facial and object scanning and an R&D smart stage with virtual production technologies to support research. Studio Ulster is expected to support 461 direct and indirect jobs in the screen sector.
The facility will comprise 33,000 sq ft of stages, including a main 11,500 sq ft virtual production stage, a 5,000 sq ft secondary stage and a motion capture stage of 4,000 sq ft, together with supporting facilities and 24,000 sq ft of production offices.
“The Studio Ulster project is a major investment in the future of the local film industry that enhances the excellent facilities already on offer here in Northern Ireland,” said Lyons. “The industry is now a major contributor to our economy, with estimates by Northern Ireland Screen suggesting the last three film and television productions have together been worth more than £100 million to the economy.”