Planning permission will soon be sought for a major film and TV studio, billed as the largest in western Europe, in Mullingar Co Westmeath.

A 25-acre site has been selected in the Lough Sheever Corporate Park for Hammerlake Studios.

It's understood the group behind the plan include senior film executives who have held roles at Universal Pictures, Disney and Troy Studios.

They say Mullingar was chosen as the location because of its close proximity to Dublin, which serves as a major international travel hub.

They say the growing demand for new film and television content means that there is a global shortage of studio space and demand for these studios is exceptionally high.

The company says once completed the studio could employ up to 350 film crew.

If planning permission is approved, it says phase one of the studio development is expected to be fully operational within 12 months.

The plans include the construction of 11 sound stages.

A planning application will be submitted to Westmeath County Council next month.

Welcoming the news, Fianna Fáil Senator Aidan Davitt said this is one of the most exciting commercial developments in the midlands.

"It's going to be one of the biggest studios in western Europe, it's of huge international significance," he said.

Minister for State for Local Government and Planning Peter Burke said he has met the group behind the plan a number of times and it's a very exciting development.

"The scale of the project is colossal and if brought to fruition it would make Ireland a world leader in the film industry," he said.

Minister of State for Trade Promotion Robert Troy said the plans are "hugely impressive" and he will continue to work and support the project.

"Hopefully when the application is submitted, it will receive the green light," he added.