Spain is implementing a series of initiatives to make the country a focal point of audiovisual production. The projects underway include those launched in Catalonia through ‘Catalunya Media City’ and ‘Parc Audiovisual de Catalunya’.

The pandemic has led to the closure of some companies but has also, together with the emergence of platforms and the arrival of new technologies, given the audiovisual industry and the creation of content an unprecedented boost.

This is an ideal opportunity and against this backdrop, the Spanish Government has clearly pledged to turn the audiovisual industry into a strategic sector at an economic, social and cultural level. This can be seen in the recent approval of the Cinema and Audiovisual Culture Bill (as we discussed here) and the ‘Spain, Audiovisual Hub of Europe’ Plan, to which around 1.6 billion euros have been allocated, which aims to increase audiovisual production in Spain by 30% until 2025 and make the country a focal point of audiovisual production.

In this context, the Clúster Audiovisual de Catalunya and Institut Català de les Indústries Culturals del Departament de Cultura de la Generalitat de Catalunya are the architects of the ambitious project to make Catalonia the audiovisual and video game hub of southern Europe and provide its industry with a strong and innovative infrastructure that will make it, both nationally and internationally, a cutting-edge driving force in the production of audiovisual and digital content.

The project basically consists of two initiatives. Firstly, the cornerstone of the project: the construction and creation of Catalunya Media City which will be located in Tres Xemeneies, a former power plant situated between San Adrián del Besos and Badalona. It will consist of training centers, research areas, technology development centers and business incubators with a view to being not only a benchmark as far as innovation is concerned, but a focal point to attract national and international talent. The infrastructure will be connected, it will collaborate with hubs worldwide and its aim is to be the benchmark hub in southern Europe.

Catalunya Media City, with a planned budget of 300 million euros, is one of the 27 projects chosen to stimulate economic recovery and which will be eligible for financing from Next Generation EU recovery funds.

Secondly, the extension of the Parc Audiovisual de Catalunya in Tarrasa, a center that has been operating since 2005, which houses various sets and almost 50 companies in the Catalan audiovisual, innovation and media industry.

Both projects together will span 100,000 m2, 20,000 m2 of which will be used as sets, all equipped with cutting-edge technology. They will also have an eSports area and data center with computing resources for post-production and special effects. The aim is to attract and capitalize on the production of series and films worldwide, and give a boost to the new audiovisual sector, for productions using 360° immersive technology, video games and the filming of big fiction projects with special effects and post-production facilities.

Elena Artigas