Scene is set for more Hollywood films in city

GLASGOW'S popularity as a movie location is set to soar after a report highlighted a city site as the ideal ­location for Scotland's first major studio.

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Scarlett Johansson is among the stars who have made films in Glasgow
Scarlett Johansson is among the stars who have made films in Glasgow

A host of Hollywood productions have been partly filmed in the city in recent years, including Brad Pitt's World War Z, Vin Diesel's Fast & Furious 6 and Halle Berry's Cloud Atlas.

Scarlett Johansson filmed scenes for ­Under the Skin in the city and it has also been used as a location for smaller, more local productions such as Sunshine On Leith, Irvine Welsh's Filth, Peter Mullan's Neds and God Help The Girl, directed by Belle & Sebastian singer Stuart Murdoch.

Now a report by independent consultants Ekos - commissioned by Scottish Enterprise - has highlighted a site at Canting Basin in Pacific Quay, just off Govan Road, as potential ­location for a £15million 'Foundation Studio', the cheapest of a range of options put forward.

The site is adjacent to Film City - a studio housed in the former Govan Town Hall as the result of a £3.5m transformation project.

The Scottish Government is keen to capitalise on Glasgow and Scotland's growing reputation as a filming location by building a major studio.

Although Glasgow has been used for outdoor shoots, the lack of a major studio has meant the productions usually move elsewhere for internal shots and for the editing and post-­production to be completed.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "Scottish ministers are firmly committed to supporting a sustained increase in production."

Any new studio would have to include private sector funding to avoid flouting European Commission laws which regulate public-sector involvement in commercial activity.

The laws led to the closure of a publicly-funded film studio in Spain after legal challenges from commercial rivals.

The Scottish Government is looking to ensure any new studio is legally watertight and not open to such a challenge.

The Ekos' report does not recommend any single site or model but its does highlight the benefits of the Govan-based Foundation Studio.

Other options laid out include a £71m studio in Dalmarnock which would be built over a 22-acre area, and one in Gartcosh that would cost £74m.

Another proposal is an ­extension of the studio in Wardpark, Cumbernauld, which is currently being used to film the US TV series Outlander.

That expansion would cost £46m.

A site at Pacific Quay, which would cost £53.8m, is also proposed.

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

stef.lach@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment

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