Irish film star Liam Neeson has given his support for plans to build a €75m ($79m) film studio on Dublin’s Poolbeg Peninsula.

The 200,000 sq. ft. Dublin Bay Studios would employ around 1,800 people and would exceed the size of the 40,000sq ft studio space at Ardmore Studios and 45,000sq ft at Ashford, as well as the 70,000sq ft at the Troy Studios facility in Limerick, the Irish Independent reports. The 20-acre project would create 1,800 direct jobs and a further 1,800 indirect jobs. The studio would also provide a “nationwide” benefit, as it would serve as a catalyst for on-location filming throughout Ireland.

Neeson thinks the studios would enable the Ireland film industry to compete with the United Kingdom and United States.

“As it stands, the country does not have the infrastructure to compete,” he said. “But Dublin Bay Studios would position Ireland on the world stage as a center of excellence for film and television.”

The proposal is being considered by Dublin City Council as part of the Poolbeg West SDZ. If it is approved, it would bring the number of sound studios in Ireland to 25.

It is backed by Alan Moloney of Parallel Films, who produced Oscar-nominated ‘Brooklyn’, and James Morris, the founder of Windmill Lane Studios.

“Ireland has limited infrastructure when it comes to sound studios and that prevents more big budget films being shot here,” said Maloney.

“We have about 3 studios – Ashborne and Ashford and Limerick That’s hardly any compared to the UK.

"In London alone they have 100 sound studios and they are all booked out. It would make Ireland even more appealing place for filmmakers."

Cillian Murphy is also backing the proposal. The Irish actor said the studios would enable Irish actors to work at home.

“Most of us have had no choice but to emigrate because Ireland has never had the scale of studio infrastructure needed to support big production,” he said.

“Dublin Bay Studio is the missing piece in the jigsaw.”

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