A major Alicante film and television studio forcibly closed by the European Union in 2012 over illegal public funding is reopening this summer.

Ciudad de la Luz(City of Light) opened in 2005 and was home to around 60 films until its enforced closure a decade ago.

€274 million of public money to build the complex was invested by the Valencian government, then headed by the Partido Popular,

At the opening ceremony, Valencia president Eduardo Zaplana, described the area as the ‘largest audiovisual centre in Europe’.

Praise from film-makers over the quality of the facilities did match the income as the site lost at least €84 million in six years.

Pinewood Studios outside London made the first complaint to the EU in 2007 over the subsidy and were followed by other major studios.

Valencia president, Ximo Puig, visited the Ciudad de la Luz on Tuesday to announce that the complex can return to its original function from July 1.

Goya Awards Presentation In Valencia, Spain 10 September 2021
XIMO PUIG(Cordon Press image)

Previous EU edicts meant the facility was barred from hosting any film and tv productions until 2027.

Puig expressed his hope that filming might start at the site before the end of the year.

He revealed that a strategic plan has been put together and that broadcaster Euronews may also open a bureau and take studio facilities at Ciudad de la Luz.

Since the 2012 closure, office buildings have been used to host start-up and technology firms as part of Alicante’s Digital District.

In 2020, the site became a major logistics centre to supply medical PPE equipment when the Covid-19 pandemic started.

It’s now being used as a hub to distribute humanitarian aid to the Ukraine.

The original ruling from 2012 demanded that the studio had to be sold off to regain the €274 million subsidy, which in effect meant the Valencian government would be paying itself.

Despite a number of high-profile interested parties that were interested in buying part or all of the facilities, nothing came to pass, with two failed auctions failing to get anywhere near a reserve price.

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