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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 October, 2004, 09:40 GMT 10:40 UK
Studios bring in administrators
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The studios received nearly 2m of Objective One funding
South West Film Studios in Cornwall has gone into administration.

The 5.7m complex at St Agnes - the first film studio complex in the region - is estimated to have received nearly 2m from European funding.

It is the second big European-funded initiative to have financial woes this year, following the closure of the Gaia Energy Centre at Delabole last month.

Ian Walker, from administrators Begbies Traynor, said he was confident there was a future for the studios.

"There has been a great deal of speculation about the need for a film-producing facility like this in the Cornwall area," he said.

The jam has been spread rather to thinly on far too many projects
Professor Peter Gripaios, head of the South West Economy Centre at Plymouth Business School
"This is the only one in the area that has actually got off the ground on this sort of scale.

"There does appear to be a certain amount of demand because there are three or four films that are either in the course of production at the moment or about to start."

Two film studios have been completed at the complex and three films - with a total budget of more than 15m - were last month confirmed to begin production this autumn.

The administrators will decide whether those productions can continue at the studios.

It was expected the studios would create 200 permanent jobs when they opened for business and pour millions of pounds into the local economy.

We are about long-term investment in the infrastructure of the economy that will move us towards a knowledge-based economy
Carlene Kelemen, Objective One
Professor Peter Gripaios, head of the South West Economy Centre at Plymouth Business School, criticised the decision to give Objective One funding to the film studios in the first place.

"The idea that we could have successful film production in Cornwall is fanciful," he said.

Objective One has now backed 580 projects in the county with nearly 230m, but Mr Gripaios said: "The jam has been spread rather too thinly on far too many projects."

But Carlene Kelemen, director of the Objective One partnership, rejected his claims.

"We are about long-term investment in the infrastructure of the economy that will move us towards a knowledge-based economy.

Building costs

"We are disappointed to hear about the South West Film Studios situation, but we have invested in a superb facility for filming and post production and that is now available to Cornwall and the administrators to bring in a successful business venture in the future."

The three films set to come to the studios include Phillip Emanuel's Guns, Money and Home Cooking, a comedy thriller starring Vinnie Jones and Ronan Keating.

Set in Cornwall, it was due to begin filming at the end of October.

A remake of the children's classic Heidi, a 4.5m production by Piccadilly Pictures which has already started filming in Slovenia, was due to come to the studios shortly, as was the 5.5m Irish Jam, starring Eddie Griffin.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
The BBC's Emma Lloyd
"It is the second high-profile European-funded initiative to run into financial problems this year"



SEE ALSO:
Work starts on 5.7m film studio
19 Jul 02  |  Entertainment
Film studio plan for West Country
03 Aug 01  |  Entertainment


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