Glasgow businesses forced to close due to Batgirl filming are calling for compensation

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Business forced to endure road closures and a drop in footfall during filming for Batgirl have called for reimbursement after the movie was scrapped.

Glasgow city traders said sacrifices made for filming were 'all in vain' after it was announced the superhero film will not be released in cinemas or HBO Max as planned.

Warner Bros said the decision came due to the 'leadership's strategic shift', but reports suggest it had been received poorly during audience tests.

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In September last year, Glasgow City Council confirmed it would provide the company with a £150,000 grant to incentivise them to base the entire production in the city.

They claimed it would create hundreds of jobs and increase the opportunity for future projects 'of a similar scale'.

Yesterday, the council confirmed the grant has still not been paid to Warner Bros and discussions are ongoing with producers.

Nick Williams, assistant manager of restaurant 13th Note on King Street, suggested the grant should be dished out to the businesses affected by production instead.

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He said: "It made it really difficult to get to this part [of town] because the streets were shut.

"Basically, we were empty on the days that the filming was on. The compensation wasn't enough to cover the losses for the two or three weeks that they were here.

"It seems like a kick in the balls, now it is all cancelled. It was just a waste of time and we lost so much business because of it.

"It's good to have things filmed but there should be more compensation for the businesses affected and better organisation for access.

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"There wasn't a lot of information about how much upheaval it would be."

On Osborne Street, independent bakery Plantyful saw their street blocked off and portable loos set up right outside the bakery's door.

Owner Aimee Jackson said: "There was a generator for a few days during that period just running non-stop with fumes just coming in. It got really hard for us to work and to keep the door open.

"It was a really bad month. Completely devastating. We had to lay off our team here.

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"We tried to give them as many hours as we could at our other location but obviously there were limited opportunities for us to give them the same type of hours that they would have.

"The compensation probably wouldn't even last us the first week let alone the other three weeks, but there is little room to negotiate once they have set up and they have made their agreements with the council.

"Sales were already down, it is one of the hardest months of the year and then they set up shop for a whole month.

"I feel small businesses were just really disregarded in the whole month."

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Waxing salon Peaches on Parnie Street featured in the film and had to close as they dressed the exterior to fit into Gotham city.

It meant they had to rebook clients and rearrange parts of their interior.

Owner Kerriann Angus said she was 'disappointed' to hear the film would not be released.

She said: "Since Covid, we have reached out to the council numerous times for support and that £150,000 could have gone to the economy within the city rather than a film that is now not going to get shown.

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"That's a bit of a sore one for us. When you hear things like that, you feel like you are not valued as a business that has been here since 2013."

Glasgow MSP Pauline McNeil said the push to make Glasgow more of a filming location was an 'absolute fail'.

She said: "It is not good enough that you'd offer up Glasgow without considering there might be significant losers over this.

"I mean these businesses were devastated anyway and then find out the film is not even going to get released."

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"There should not be financial losses to business and there should be high levels of engagement with residents, high levels of engagement with businesses.

"We need to put resources into that and we need to take time to spell out the benefits for the economy."

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “The filming of Batgirl brought a very significant economic benefit to Glasgow when the production was here, with 450 Glasgow-based crew jobs, almost 1300 Scottish supporting artists, and many subcontractors working as tradespeople and in traffic management and security.

“Any decision on the release of the production is very much a matter for Warner Bros.

“The £150,000 grant support has not been paid, and discussions continue with the producers.”

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