City media hub receives £900,000 boost

31 Mar 2008

by Gerry Braiden, The Herald

Efforts to create a media village on the banks of the Clyde will gather momentum this week with approval of the final round of funding for a major film and broadcast hub.

Film City will help Glasgow vie with Manchester as the UK's leading media production centre outside London.

The project, based at the old Govan Town Hall, will receive more than £900,000 which will be used towards the construction of 20 office units to be leased to production companies working on anything from corporate promotions to big-budget feature films.

Paid for largely by £4m from Scottish Enterprise, Glasgow City Council and the European Regional Development Fund, the 65,000 square foot Film City project is part of the growing media quarter on the south banks of the Clyde being funded by the three agencies to the tune of £30m.

With the BBC, STV, Setanta Sports, XFM and a host of digital media firms, including the Glasgow School of Art digital design studio, already based there, it is hoped the area could rival London's Soho, Manchester's Media City or even Boston's "scientific triangle" as a specialised industry hub.

On Friday the city council is expected to approve the final £907,000 and appoint Central Building Contractors Ltd to carry out the work.

Tiernan Kelly, who heads up Film City, said: "This is a very exciting time to be in film and broadcast production in Glasgow and we expect it to stay that way for at least the next 10 years.

"Now we can offer office space to production firms, which is notoriously difficult, offer sound and post production at 60% the cost of Soho production houses, while production in general can be done at 60% the London cost in Glasgow.

"Facilities like Film City can only help perpetuate the work and allow us to properly compete with London and Manchester."

Recent figures put the value of film production in Glasgow at £17m, with further spin-offs to the local economy.

Meanwhile, on the direct opposite banks of the river, the city council will confirm this week it is selling the old Pump House at the Tall Ship, with a view to it being turned into a boutique hotel and restaurant.

The structure currently houses the Curry-oke Indian restaurant but will be sold to Glasgow Harbour, which will use the Pump House as part of its scheme to redevelop the area around the SECC.

Glasgow City Council bought the building for £450,000 from the Clyde Maritime Trust in 2002.

Reproduced with the permission of The Herald(Glasgow) © Newsquest (Herald & Times) Ltd.

  • Film City at Govan Town Hall