Shaw­field sug­gested as po­ten­tial site for Scot­tish film stu­dio

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

An old in­dus­trial es­tate in Ruther­glen was sug­gested as a po­ten­tial site for the highly an­tic­i­pated Scot­tish film stu­dio it has emerged.

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil con­firmed this week that the newly-re­me­di­ated sites at the Clyde Gate­way Na­tional Busi­ness District in Shaw­field were named as a pos­si­ble home for the stu­dio.

But the Scot­tish Govern­ment says it has not been ap­proached by pri­vate de­vel­op­ers keen to build the stu­dio - which has been in plan­ning since 2013 - on the site.

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil mean­while say Ruther­glen is per­fectly po­si­tioned to tap into the cre­ative in­dus­tries in Glas­gow, while any bid to at­tract film mak­ers to Ruther­glen would see tens of mil­lions of pounds spent in the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

Jim McCaf­fer, head of re­gen­er­a­tion ser­vices at South La­nark­shire Coun­cil, said: “Scot­tish En­ter­prise, to­gether with Cre­ative Scot­land and the Scot­tish Govern­ment, com­mis­sioned an in­de­pen­dent study to look at the fea­si­bil­ity of a Scot­tish Film stu­dio at the end of 2013.

“Whilst South La­nark­shire Coun­cil was not ap­proached for­mally, the op­por­tu­ni­ties pre­sented by a large coun­cil- owned de­vel­op­ment site at Lang­lands West in East Kil­bride and newly- re­me­di­ated sites at the Clyde Gate­way Na­tional Busi­ness District in Shaw­field, were high­lighted as po­ten­tially be­ing suit­able for this type of in­vest­ment.

“The coun­cil con­sid­ers both sites to be de­vel­op­ment ready, ex­tremely well lo­cated and con­nected to key ar­te­rial road routes, and with ready ac­cess to skilled labour in this par­tic­u­lar field of work.

“How­ever, our un­der­stand­ing is that nei­ther site made it through the for­mal eval­u­a­tion process.”

But a spokes­woman for the Scot­tish Govern­ment told the Re­former no for­mal dis­cus­sion had taken place be­tween the Scot­tish Govern­ment and those in­ter­ested in de­vel­op­ing the Ruther­glen site.

She said: “The Film Stu­dio De­liv­ery Group (FSDG) is com­mit­ted to work­ing with the pri­vate sec­tor, to de­liver en­hanced film stu­dio fa­cil­i­ties in Scot­land, within EU State Aid rules.

“We have not been ap­proached about any pri­vate sec­tor pro­pos­als for sites in South La­nark­shire but we are open to re­ceiv­ing de­tails from po­ten­tial in­vestors, on this site and any oth­ers.

“A pub­lic- pri­vate pro­posal with the po­ten­tial to meet our as­pi­ra­tion is cur­rently at a crit­i­cal stage of con­sid­er­a­tion. We ap­pre­ci­ate the sec­tor has been pa­tient about this work, and can as­sure all that the FSDG is con­tin­u­ing to work in­cred­i­bly hard, in com­plex and chal­leng­ing ter­ri­tory, to de­liver a pos­i­tive out­come that sat­is­fies EU reg­u­la­tions and the re­quire­ments of all rel­e­vant pub­lic and pri­vate stake­hold­ers.”

The up­date on the stu­dio comes as Ruther­glen coun­cil­lor Robert Brown says the Scot­tish pub­lic is miss­ing out on huge eco­nomic growth as film mak­ers con­tinue to flock to Bri­tain to make movies.

Mr Brown said: “The an­nounce­ment last week of a se­cond film stu­dio for North­ern Ire­land, and the ex­is­tence of a suc­cess­ful film stu­dio in Wales show up how dila­tory SNP min­is­ters have been on the is­sue of a Scot­tish film stu­dio.”

Sign of the times Per­haps Cathkin Braes could have been home to a Hol­ly­wood-style “Ruther­glen” sign if the plan had gone ahead

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