Franz Ferdinand, Ewan MacGregor and Glasgow School of Art just some of the high profile names all sharing in The DMQ Experience
As it celebrates its first anniversary Glasgow’s Digital Media Quarter (DMQ) continues to thrive in scale, ambition and success. Home to a ‘creative cluster’ that includes BBC Scotland, Scottish Television, Film City Glasgow and, as of February 2009, The Hub, a managed space for creative business, DMQ was established with the aim of growing the digital media sector in Scotland, at a time when the industry is emergent globally.
The DMQ is acting like a magnet for a broad range of major creative talent ranging from bankable Scottish stars Ewan MacGregor and Peter Mullen to major Scottish band Franz Ferdinand, to the TV production companies behind hit shows ‘Garrow’s Law’, ‘River Cottage’ and ‘Pamela Stephenson’s Shrink Rap’: Shed Media, Keo North and Finestripe. A broad range of Scotland’s growing digital sector are also enjoying growth at the DMQ including Caboodl, a business that generates a social media framework with the functionality for creating, supporting, and building online communities, and Glasgow School of Art’s Digital Design Studio which recently completed an exciting digital preservation and conservation project involving ‘mapping’ Mount Rushmore.
Reflecting the strengthening relationship between digital and broadcast media is Shed Media, already undergoing expansion with their latest £250,000 commission, ‘Being Victor’. Shed is increasingly focused on developing diverse multiplatform concepts and ‘Being Victor’ is a character driven 20 part drama which will initially be accessed on CTVC’s youth skewing website, True Tube.
More mainstream film and TV projects are also being pursued at the DMQ, with Peter Mullen and Ewan MacGregor’s NEDS and ‘The Last Word’ respectively involved with Glasgow Film City at the DMQ through almost every stage of production, from set building and preparation, through film to post production and editing. Equally the new TV series currently in production at Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s Keo North. ‘Three Hungry Boys’ will see the owner of River Cottage challenge three marine biologists to live off the land for a month. Filming and editing is taking place on the West Coast of Scotland and at Film City Glasgow.
The Scottish Government is targeting creative enterprise with significant funding and support and central to this strategy is DMQ’s unique philosophy of encouraging media sector business to meet, connect and flourish. Its approach was recently endorsed with research led by Senior Lecturer Michael Joroff of the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Looking at the future development of the wider Pacific Quay area, of which the DMQ is part, the research commissioned by Scottish Enterprise resulted in a number of key conclusions, including the assertion that real opportunity exists to position Scotland as a Centre of Excellence for the development of new technologies and exploitation of media content. It also stated that it is of critical importance that the DMQ becoming more than just a physical location, and this can be achieved by developing the businesses through innovative & collaborative, commercial, education-based or social-based cluster activities.
Certainly The Hub's ethos is all about building a 'seriously creative community' at the heart of the new Digital Media Quarter. A managed space for creative business The Hub was completed in February 2009 and offers flexible amounts of space from 127 ft² upwards – as well as flexible leases that will suit both larger companies and individual operators – The Hub is already more than 50% let, bucking the trend of the current challenging economic backdrop with a range of varied and exciting new tenants including design agency Pocapoc; Southside Technology, a company specialising in virtual server technology solutions to streamline businesses processes within their organisations; AV9, a company dedicated to originating and producing a new wave of entertainment formats that combine Mobile TV, Internet Radio, Social Networking, and Ecommerce; Caboodl, a business that generates a social media framework with the functionality for creating, supporting, and building online communities and Glasgow School of Art’s Digital Design Studio.
The work of Digital Design Studio in particular highlights DMQ’s focus on emerging cutting edge technology. It recently announced that trainee surgeons will soon be able to operate on a digital simulation of the human body, thanks to a pioneering project based at the Digital Design Studio and hailed as one of the most important medical breakthroughs since keyhole surgery. DDS and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Glasgow have been collaborating on a multimillion pound initiative to create an interactive, digital simulation of the human body which they hope will eventually be used to train junior doctors in complex surgical procedures and transform how students learn anatomy.
Claire Scally of Scottish Enterprise said: “At the year one mark, DMQ is a real testament to the strength and calibre of Scotland’s creative industries. Today the Digital Media and Creative Industries in Scotland account for around £2.8 billion in economic terms and employ an estimated 100,000. The social, inclusive and supportive environment here at DMQ will continue to nurture growth for an exciting range of vibrant media and digital businesses.
Donny McKinnon, director of Downtown Space (developer of The Hub, in partnership with Helical Bar), commented: “In less than a year, our building, The Hub, has been completed and has come to life as an exciting variety of tenants have moved in. Led by flagship tenants, the Digital Design Studio and Shed Media Scotland, The Hub has not only become a vibrant place to work, but to meet up, exchange ideas and enjoy a bite to eat at the cafe bar, which was launched in July. The Hub and the Digital Media Quarter are inextricably linked as the DMQ acts as the concept and location to attract business; whilst The Hub provides a superb base for these businesses to work from.”
Nick Southgate, CEO of Shed commented: “Shed Media is 100% committed to our Scottish hub. Scotland represents a sizeable opportunity in terms of commissioning with the government putting substantial funding and support into creative enterprise. We’ve had fantastic help from Scottish Enterprise, for which I thank them and Shed Media Scotland is poised at the centre of an incredibly positive collision of editorial and economic opportunity. We look forward to growing the business and creating a raft of new hit shows.”
For further information:
Martin Cryans, Firefly Communications, 07730 415034
Denise Fraser, Firefly Communications, 07739 007468
To learn more about the DMQ at Pacific Quay visit www.pacificquaydmq.com
To learn more about the Digital Design Studio visit www.gsa.ac.uk/dds
To learn more about Shed Media visit www.shedproductions.com
To learn more about Film City Glasgow www.filmcityglasgow.com
To learn more about The Hub www.hub-pq.com
To learn more about Keo Films North www.keofilms.com
To learn more about Finestripe Productions www.finestripe.com
To learn more about Franz Ferdinand www.franzferdinand.com