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Five bids to build Scotland's first major film studio

FIVE bids have been made to build Scotland's first major film and television studio, with three of the proposals based closer to Edinburgh than Glasgow.

The private sector bids to build the studio, which could cost between £15 million and £74m, are now being scrutinised by Scottish Enterprise (SE).

The successful bid will be announced in the summer.

Only one bid, it is understood, has been made for a film studio based in Glasgow, with three in the Edinburgh region, including two on the outskirts of the capital.

Cumbernauld, where a studio is already being used to film part of the US television series Outlander, is also believed to be the site chosen by another bid.

Film City Glasgow, which is based in Govan, has made an official bid to build a purpose-built studio near the Clyde. The organisation has been working on a business plan and case for a film studio in Glasgow for many years and confirmed it had lodged its proposals with Scottish Enterprise.

Gillian Berrie, Scottish film producer and founder of Film City, said: "We moved into Film City 10 years ago and have made a significant contribution to the screen sector, its infrastructure and future.

"Pinning the studio to such a permanent resource would be strategically sensible, almost a guarantee it would be sustainable and in safe hands."

A report by SE this year suggested but did not recommend many potential sites in Scotland, only illustrating examples in locations including Dalmarnock and Pacific Quay, Glasgow; and Gartcosh and Cumbernauld, both North Lanarkshire.

The report, written by Ekos, recommended a twin-track approach for building a facility in Scotland, with bids from private sources sought and the Scottish Government and other public bodies also raising resources for a £15m Foundation Studio, which would probably be based in Glasgow.

A Scottish Enterprise spokeswoman confirmed bids had been noted and the body was now in the process of "due diligence".

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said it was working with Creative Scotland and SE to assess "rigorously" the proposals. The SE report highlighted the benefits of what it calls a Foundation Studio, the cheapest option, which would cost about £15.2m and could be built in the Canting Basin, Pacific Quay.

However ,the Scottish Government is keen to not expose any new studio to a legal challenge based on the State Aid rules set by the European Commission, which regulate public sector involvement in commercial activity.

A film studio in Spain backed by public money, Ciudad de la Luz in Alicante, had to close after legal challenges from commercial rivals.

Scotland previously lost out on the chance to work with Pinewood on a new studio, which is now in Wales, and also has competition from studios in England and Belfast.

The options laid out in the report included a studio in Dalmarnock over a 22-acre area that is costed at £71.4m and one in Gartcosh with "the greatest level of flexibility" costed at £74.3m.

Another proposal is an ­extension of the studio in Wardpark, Cumbernauld, which would cost £46m, a site at Pacific Quay( £53.8m) and the 35,000sq ft Foundation option.

The Government has committed to making £2m available and Creative Scotland has set aside £1m for a studio.

Contextual targeting label: 
Arts and Entertainment

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