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14/03/14 00:01

Film studio options outlined

Analysis shows opportunity for Scottish film studio.

There is a clear opportunity for a film and TV studio facility in Scotland, a new report shows.

Commissioned by Scottish Enterprise in partnership with Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government, the EKOS report says tax incentives have created a surge of interest in filming in Scotland and this is driving demand for studio space.

The report assesses several potential options and recommends that representatives of the private sector be invited to submit their own development briefs for a studio facility.

If this request for proposals fails to identify a suitable commercial project, today’s report recommends public sector agencies should concurrently proceed with a detailed appraisal and business plan for a Foundation Studio.

Welcoming today’s report, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

“The Scottish Government values the contribution that filmmaking, animation and television production makes to Scotland’s rich cultural life with public sector investment in support for the screen sector, across production, education, training and exhibition, increasing to £21 million in 2012-13.

“We have consistently championed Scotland as a location for international film and TV productions and we work hard to ensure Scotland is widely recognised for its world-class talent, crews, facilities and breathtaking locations. Scottish ministers are firmly committed to supporting a sustained increase in production.

“These are very exciting times for the audio visual sector and we’re seeing an encouraging growth in high-end television production in Scotland.

“We have much to gain by supporting those who want to create - not just because that will support our creative economy – but because, most importantly, we value their cultural contribution.

“Public agencies worked hard to source suitable premises for Outlander to consider, and we are delighted that this major production is now filming in a 140,000 square foot studio established in Cumbernauld. But we recognise that to provide more opportunities for Scottish production we need additional studio space. That is why we worked with Scottish Enterprise and Creative Scotland to commission this report.

“Today’s report recommends that we investigate the creation of a Foundation Studio in the event that a private sector bid for additional studio space is unsuccessful. I welcome this recommendation and will be exploring this further with the relevant agencies.”

David Smith, Director of Creative Industries at Scottish Enterprise, said:

“This report gives us a sound understanding of Scotland’s options in developing a dedicated film and TV facility. From here, we can move quickly towards the next phase of work to establish interest from the private sector and develop a robust business case for public sector investment.”

Janet Archer, Chief Executive of Creative Scotland, said:

“Film is very important to us as one of our key areas of responsibility, alongside the arts and the creative industries, we are working very hard to identify how we strengthen resources for film through partnership working with Government and other partners.

“The Film Sector Review, recently published, will inform our strategy for film in Scotland and we are committed to producing this strategy by the end of June 2014.

“We will be working with Independent Producers Scotland (IPS) and other representatives of the film sector to develop this. This strategy will identify our short, medium and long-term priorities for developing the film sector and set out how we plan to deliver these priorities.”

Notes to editors

The study was delivered by a multi-disciplinary team bringing together expertise in economic analysis, architecture, engineering and acoustics, capital development and studio management. The team was led by EKOS: Economic and Social Development Consultants in partnership with JM Architects, ARUP, Gardiner and Theobold and Cask Productions. The study was overseen by a steering group formed by Scottish Enterprise with representation from Creative Scotland, Scottish Development International, and the Scottish Government.

The Foundation Studio proposal recommended in the report would be delivered on a phased basis, comprises two soundstages, two workshops and production offices and would cost in the region of £15m. The report makes clear that EU state aid issues would have to be addressed in considering this.

The Scottish Government has committed to making £2m available in loans to assist the film and television production sector.

Over the last three years, almost £60m has been made available for supporting the screen industry in Scotland from public sector sources, including for film, TV, Gaelic and training.

The full EKOS report is available at: www.scottish-enterprise.com/filmstudio

As recommended in the report, a Development Brief has been published today on the Public Contracts Scotland website, to invite proposals from the private sector for developing opportunities for production space for film and television in Scotland