Raleigh-backed project to build studios near southern French city of Toulouse wins government support as construction of Luc Besson’s Paris Cité du Cinema studios is completed.

The French government has lent its support to a plan to build film studios on the site of an abandoned military base on the outskirts of the city of Toulouse in southwest France.

Local politicians from the Midi Pyrénées region, where the site is situated, met with representatives of the culture, budget, finance and defense ministries at the presidential Elysée Palace on Thursday to discuss the project.

“The Secretary of State for Trade Fréderic Lefebvre voiced the government’s strong support for an innovative project, which would be good for Toulouse as well as France’s image,” Jean-Louis Chauzy, president of the economic, social and environmental council for the Midi Pyrénées , told French news agency AFP.

Chauzy added: “If we can close the procedures for the acquisition of the land by the end of 2012, we will be able to start negotiating with the operators and investors and gain a year.”

The project is the brainchild of the Toulouse-based architect Bruno Granja [pictured], who was also present at Thursday’s meeting.

Last January, Raleigh Studios confirmed it was involved in plans to build the studios, saying it had been engaged “to do a feasibility study to look at the potential of opening a studio in Toulouse.”

In Paris, meanwhile, construction of the Cité du Cinema studios spear-headed by filmmaker Luc Besson has been completed. Vinci Immobilier, which managed the project, announced last week it had “delivered the Cité du Cinéma”.

Located on a former power station site in Seine-Saint Denis on the outskirts of Paris, the complex features nine studios, workshops, offices, the new site of the Louis Lumière film school, cinemas, a shopping mall and restaurants.

Besson’s EuropaCorp, the Louis Lumière school and other companies renting office and workshop space at the Cité are due to move onto the site over the summer for an official inauguration in September.