The British Film Institute (BFI) is already looking at the third of four potential sites in London 's Southbank for its new 'British Film Centre' to be completed in time for the London Olympics in 2012.

'We are quite far down the line on the new site,' BFI president Amanda Nevill told 'The London Development Agency gave us over half a million pounds last year to do a feasibility study, and we have already identified four sites. We are down now to the third site, and building up the noise and the case for it now.'

However, funding to build the new British Film Centre is still very much up in the air.

The current BFI Southbank site, situated beneath Waterloo Bridge and re-opened on March 14, cost $12m in National Lottery funding and offers the public free access to film footage from the National Archives in the mediatheque room.

But Nevill insists: 'The BFI site is a rehearsal room because we know the NFT is coming to the end of its natural life - it is worn down. Southbank is a taster site, building the argument, stimulating the imagination, and giving an idea of what the new British Film Centre would look like.'

She adds: 'The most important agenda item for me is to raise the profile of film for the public and private sectors so that they both want it. You've got the National Gallery for historical art, the Tate for contemporary and the Opera House for opera, there should be a credible alternative to Leicester Square for film, which can be the central international home for the archives and research.'