Glasgow production Batgirl ‘expected to make financial contribution’ to benefit local community


Production crews filming in the city should make a financial contribution to the community they impact, a community board has said.

Merchant City and Trongate Community Council said production companies should work with locals to ensure they see the benefits of coming to town.

The group is currently in conversation with Batgirl teams after local businesses complained about the loss of revenue from filming.

The entire HBO Max movie is filming in the city, with filming taking place in the Merchant City and Trongate area and expected to move to George Square and surrounding streets this week.

A cash incentive of £150,000 has been given to the production company by Glasgow City Council to allow them to film the entire blockbuster in the city.

Spokesman Scott Thornton said: “Filming, especially for blockbuster films like Batgirl, brings excitement and thrills to central Glasgow and draws global attention to our great city.

“There are also financial benefits, including additional work for the creative sector, although it can be difficult to calculate the exact net financial result of using Glasgow as a film set.

“The downside is the significant impact of the filming on some local residents and businesses.

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“Production companies have often done their best to communicate road closures, but residents have complained to us about late notice or, in some cases, no notice at all. In the case of Hanover Street, residents were notified of a road closure after it was closed.

“Some residents, including those housebound, were unable to receive meal deliveries because vehicles could not approach the property.

“The MCTCC has a useful and ongoing dialogue with film companies, with tangible results. For example, they agreed to turn off the generators at 7 p.m. and not restart them until 7 a.m. Previously, they ran until late at night.”

We told how companies reported loss of revenue caused by production with streets blocked off for pedestrians and “resembling a construction site”.

After a week-long closure of Glassford Street, a business owner lost between £7,000 and £10,000 in revenue because customers were unable to enter or did not know the premises were still open during the filming.

Scott added: “Businesses reported serious loss of revenue during filming as access to their premises was restricted or impossible. These included several bars and restaurants on Trongate.

“We believe that in recognition of the inconvenience caused, film companies should make a financial contribution for the benefit of the local community, and as part of our outreach activities we are in contact with them about this.”

A council spokesman said any compensation for the companies would have to be arranged through the production team, however, locals said they could not get in touch with anyone.

Liam Orr of Soulsa Bar & Kitchen said: “We haven’t received any sort of compensation or even communication from production, although we have tried several times to contact them with our concerns. They keep saying they’ll talk to us and then we don’t hear anything back.

“The extent to which the filming was going to affect us was downplayed to an extreme – they never said it would be a construction site.

“Nothing was done to help businesses except for a small sign ‘businesses open as usual’.


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