Kelvin Hall to house £12m film studio

Glasgow City Council has confirmed that it is developing an £11.9 million film production facility within the city’s historic Kelvin Hall.

Kelvin Hall to house £12m film studio

The Scottish Government will be providing £7.9m of support for the project.

Approving the plans today, the local authority said the facility will deliver a huge boost to the city’s dynamic screen and creative sectors.

It is anticipated the first part of the new screen hub will be ready to open later this year; with discussions already well advanced with potential tenants.

Council leader Susan Aitken said: “Glasgow’s creative industries are hugely important not only to the city’s economy; but also its culture and its national and international profile.

“The city is home to an incredible community of independent producers; with access to an enviable pipeline of young talent.

“We know they are in demand all over the country and, often, the world - but we also know that, here at home, there is a relative lack of the kind of studio space they need to be able to win higher-value commissions.

“This exciting plan for the Kelvin Hall will not only establish that kind of facility, but do it right in the heart of the city. It shows how serious Glasgow is about fostering and building on a well-deserved reputation as centre of excellence in television production.”

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Glasgow’s plans to create studios at its iconic Kelvin Hall with up to £7.9 million of funding from the Scottish Government is a unique opportunity and builds on Scotland’s ambition to drive growth across all aspects of the film and TV sector.

“This new development would support the city’s thriving creative industries sector, help develop our skills base and attract film and TV productions, creating significant social and economic benefits for Scotland as part of our economic recovery.”

The film sector is already estimated to be worth up to £500m to Scotland each year, with around 60% of that in Glasgow.

Creating a new studio space in Kelvin Hall is expected to address a lack of filming facilities, which is said to have been a significant barrier to bringing larger productions to Scotland.

Early design work for the project is already underway and it is estimated that a total budget of approximately £11.9m will be required.

Today, the council’s City Administration Committee agreed to provide £4m of that, with borrowing costs covered by rental income.  This will secure the core studio ‘box’ and screen production facilities.

Scottish Government, through Screen Scotland, will provide up to £7.9m in financial support for the project, subject to a long-term tenant being secured for the facility.

Since first opening as an exhibition venue in 1927, the Kelvin Hall has hosted an extraordinary range of events and been a fixture of the city’s cultural and sporting scenes.

For a generation of Glaswegians, it is perhaps most familiar as the former home of the city’s transport museum.

Although it has been superseded in most of these roles by new, dedicated venues over recent decades; the refurbished Kelvin Hall remains a very important part of the city’s cultural and sporting estate.

A partnership between Glasgow Life, the University of Glasgow and the National Library of Scotland has transformed part of the venue into a centre of cultural excellence - providing access to collections, temporary displays, teaching and research, alongside a state-of-the-art Glasgow Club health and fitness centre.

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