Movie moguls’ thumbs up for Cumbernauld

A themed Outlander tour in Edinburgh.
A themed Outlander tour in Edinburgh.

A flying visit to Cumbernauld by top LA movie executives is being taken as the clearest sign yet that the town will host a national film studio.

While the Scottish Government was refusing to comment further ahead of the General Election the trip by US film bosses to the set of Outlander. is being widely seen as highly significant.

The soaraway success is back at its local base in a former factory for the series’ second run.

Meanwhile a mystery private enterprise plan is being framed in association with Scottish Enterprise, and has been repeatedly tipped as heading for Cumbernauld.

But although a notional deadline for firm news of the project was set for February the location of the plan still hasn’t been confirmed.

A private film studio is planned for Pentland in the east, and another venture haas been mooted in Dundee – but it’s understood neither affects the potential national film studio project.

Meanwhile plans for contenders including Glasgow and West Dunbartonshire have been knocked back, infuriating city council leader Gordon Mathieson – who argued Cumbernauld wasn’t a suitable location.

That was flatly contradicted by North Lanarkshire Council leader Jim McCabe, who in a letter to The Herald spelled out the case for gaining the studo base.

Scottish film industry players have continually complained that the Scottish Government is dragging its heels, and that major opportunities are being lost to rival locatiions – but Holyrood has remained tight lipped.

A spokesman said: ““We are pleased that a proposal has been received by Scottish Enterprise on behalf of the film studio delivery group from a private sector developer to provide studio infrastructure.

“That bid is currently under consideration but the need for commercial confidentiality means we are currently unable to provide any more detail.

“ We remain committed to developing suitable studio facilities in Scotland that fall within State Aid rules.”

Paul Jukes, the council’s regeneration chief, said: “We have made a very strong case for this prestigious facility to be brought to Cumbernauld and we are convinced that the proposed location in the town would be perfect.”

Cumbernauld community activist Adam Smith said: “Our association with TV and film dates back to 1967 when the town was featured in the first, live, international satellite television broadcast.

“Much more recently, the international success of Outlander has proved Cumbernauld has the talent, amenities, and infrastructure to support Scotland’s first national film studio.

“I hope the final confirmation of this will be made in the near future.”