A posse of well-known Scottish actors have rubbished the idea of turning Cumbernauld into a hub for Scotland’s film industry.
More than 60 film industry players, including actors Peter Mullan and Danielle Nardini, argue Glasgow should be the home to a new Scottish film studio – and not Cumbernauld, which is already an established success.
In the same week it was confirmed that smash hit series Outlander (filmed in Cumbernauld) is set to be seen in Scotland the industry players signed an open letter to plead the case for Glasgow.
And in a direct attack on Cumbernauld they say: “Other sites currently under consideration, such as Cumbernauld and the M8 corridor, are compromises that will not deliver the double advantages of a connected, accessible facility, married with commercial sustainability.”
The letter claims Glasgow has “the best infrastructure” for a film studio, with 50,000sq ft of sound and picture post production houses and “creative micro-clusters” including Film City Glasgow and The Hub.
And in a further dig at Cumbernauld it complains few actors and other industry workers would want to “relocate” to Cumbernauld – which is around 20 minutes from Glasgow city centre by bus.
However the town isn’t the only urban area to be sidelined by the Glasgow-friendly lobbyists.
While singing the city’s praises and downgrading Cumbernauld they go on to say that “other sites may become viable options in the future” – and suggest Edinburgh could eventually come up to the standards they expect in the “longer term”.
The letter urges the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Creative Scotland to “urgently reconsider” any moves to create a screen facility or stufio outside an urban centre (meaning a city) – and claims that only Glasgow will fit the bill.
However journalist Brian Ferguson, writing in the News’ sister paper The Scotsman, thinks the Glasgow group are wide of the mark.
He writes: “The best bet for the scheme looks to be some kind of small-scale development in an empty warehouse, like the one housing the Outlander production in Cumbernauld.”