Expansion recommended for digital media quarter

A RIVERSIDE area of Glasgow that is earmarked to be home to a cluster of media companies – with broadcasters, BBC Scotland and STV already headquartered there – should be expanded to the other side of the river, according to a consultant’s report.

Glasgow’s Digital Media Quarter, based at Pacific Quay, looks across the River Clyde to the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre.

The proposal to expand the geographical boundary of the DMQ follows a survey conducted by digital media and technology consultancy, New Media Partners, in conjunction with Michael Joroff, a senior lecturer in the School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The survey was commissioned by Scottish Enterprise.

But there are strong recommendations too that the area – whilst poised to become “a centre of excellence for the development of new technologies and exploitation of media content” – requires substantial, physical re-drawing. It needs, says the managing director of New Media Partners, to “knit more with the city, it’s currently lacking the grain of a city”.

In a formal statement issued by his company, Danny Meaney is quoted, saying: “DMQ is a core element of Scottish Enterprise’s national strategy to strengthen Scotland’s digital media sector and we are pleased to play a role in ensuring the future success of its development.

“This project, based around a series of workshops with key stakeholders, not only provides expert analysis and recommendations, but will accelerate the forward momentum needed for DMQ to reach its full potential.”

But he revealed more to allmediascotland.com: “DMQ needs to be bigger but it also requires what we describe as a ‘ladder of accommodation”, workspaces for different sizes and types of companies,” he said.

“At present, there are some real, stand-out buildings, but the next phase is adding granularity. The most successful of these types of development are knitted in with the city. DMQ has to knit more with the city, it’s currently lacking the grain of a city.”

He added he believed the technological potential of the area should extend beyond media and entertainment, to include, for instance, health care – to reflect current major redevelopment at the nearby Southern General Hospital.

Added Joroff, in the statement: “DMQ has high promise for success because it builds upon considerable accomplishments of the past decade. The area has already begun to emerge as a significant innovator of media content and technology.

“STV, BBC Scotland, the Science Centre, the SECC performance arena and convention centre and Film City Glasgow are located in the area, along with small, innovative enterprises such as Dimensional Imaging, ‘super indie’, Shed Media, and the Digital Design Studio of the Glasgow School of Art.”

New Media Partners was founded ten years ago by Meaney and Nicola Cole and has offices in Glasgow, London and Manchester. It specialises in imagining and planning ‘media cities’.