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Wednesday, 9 October, 2002, 10:10 GMT 11:10 UK
Curtain falls on film studio hopes
Scottish Highlands
A film studio had been earmarked for the Highlands
There is little market potential for a national film studio in Scotland, a study has found.

Scottish Enterprise research did, however, suggest there was scope for a studio dedicated to television and commercial work.

In light of a number of unfulfilled plans for film studios, the Scottish Executive wanted to test once and for all whether it was feasible.

Scottish Enterprise asked companies to tender bids to run the studio.


What we found was that the current market would not sustain a large-scale film studio in Scotland

David Reilly
Scottish Enterprise

The three companies who did come forward concluded that there was not enough film work to sustain a studio.

Hopes had been raised for a studio after one of the busiest years in the industry - with about 14 productions currently shooting in Scotland.

Film work could be undertaken at any new commercial studio, but it would be as an adjunct to its main role as a TV studio.

Two of the three interested companies - the Comedy Unit and Mallinson Television Productions - will now combine their bids and resubmit their plans to Scottish Enterprise.

Film-making

A site has not yet been decided but is likely to be in Glasgow.

David Reilly, director of Creative Industries at Scottish Enterprise, said: "What we found was that the current market would not sustain a large-scale film studio in Scotland.

"But we believe that the growth in the television and commercial industry means there is a market for a television studio."

Highland Council approved an application in May from ex-Eurythmics musician Dave Stewart for a new film studio.

Mel Gibson in Braveheart
Braveheart generated global interest in Scotland

Plans for a film studio in Inverness were formed after the Highlands were used as the backdrop for a number of Hollywood blockbusters.

More than 30m has been spent on film-making in the area in recent years, including successful movies like Loch Ness, Mrs Brown, Rob Roy and Braveheart.

The need for studio and post-production facilities became clear because most film-makers are forced to finish their features outwith Scotland.

Last year, the Scottish Film Studio Partnership lodged plans for a 225m studio in the Highlands.

It hoped to create an 800-acre campus next to the village of Aberuthven.

But the latest study appears to have scuppered those plans.

See also:

09 May 02 | Scotland
02 Nov 01 | Scotland
07 Sep 01 | Scotland
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