The Studios de l’Union will land in the North, for the first filming at the end of 2024. The announcement was made recently by the Minister of Culture, the file being one of the winners of the national call to projects “the Great Image Factory” aiming, within the framework of the France 2030 plan, to equip France with filming capabilities.
Deployed on five hectares, in Tourcoing, they will have eight film sets on 4,000 square meters. This will make it one of the largest complexes devoted to the audiovisual industry north of Paris, with set and costume workshops, dressing rooms, an auditorium, production offices, etc. All equipped with high-tech equipment
Union Studio plans to move to the former factory textile Caulliez, disused for years. The studios will come both to restructure an industrial wasteland and to complete an already strong film sector of a thousand jobs in Hauts-de-France. “We will be able to attract productions that will find here the entire value chain from pre to post-production, which will also lower the carbon footprint of current filming, an element that matters today”, pleads the founder and CEO of Union Studio, Selim Saïfi.
The leader gives himself the summer to finalize the financing plan, of around 50 million euros, 35% of which is provided by the State as part of the call for projects. The rest is shared between three private investors (the manufacturer Lyris Group, the IRD group, Entreprises et Cités) and a banking pool.
This private project will be located not far from the Plaine Images hub, one of the sites of the regional center of excellence around the creative image industries. Straddling Roubaix and Tourcoing, it has 150 companies and 2,000 employees. It has an incubator (50 projects), a research center and schools such as Pôle III D or ARTFX, which will inaugurate its 19,000 m2 campus next fall. This international school of higher education in cinema, special effects, animation and video game, headquartered in Montpellier, is also a laureate of “La Grande Fabrique de l’Image”, but for training.
For Emmanuel Delamare, director of Plaine Images, the scheduled arrival of Studios de l’Union “adds a brick to our ecosystem”: “Apart from those of Transpalux, over 500 square meters, we had no large studios. Shootings, in addition to being able to be done on a real location in our region, will find here everything you need to shoot indoors”.
This ecosystem is completed by Arenberg Créative Mine, a former mining wasteland – not far from Valenciennes – converted in particular into a filming site and an integral part of the regional center of excellence (image and creations digital).
It is carried mainly by the agglomeration community of La Portes du Hainaut and by the Hauts-de-France Polytechnic University. Its filming studios, limited to 700 square meters, will be enlarged by 3,000 square meters. A project of approximately 35 million euros (again winner of “La Grande Fabrique de l’Image”) which provides for the creation of a school of trades.