A decade after Luc Besson first mooted the idea, construction of France’s state-of-the-art film studio complex the Cité du Cinema is on schedule and will be completed in time for a grand opening ahead of Cannes 2012, EuropaCorp project chief Paul Kistner has confirmed.

Besson and his director general Christophe Lambert donned hard hats and protective boots to accompany a handful of EuropaCorp investors and journalists on a tour of the partially constructed site on the northern fringes of Paris on Wednesday [May 4]

“There were some concerns we weren’t going to make it,” Kistner said. “It was a cold winter which delayed work… stopped the concrete setting and stuff like that, but people have been working overtime to keep it schedule and we’re confident it will be ready on time.”

Built on the site of a former power station, facilities on the 62,000 sq m complex will comprise nine soundstages, ranging from 600 sq m to 2,100 sq m in size; a 500-seat projection room, office space, the premises of the prestigious Louis Lumiere film school and a huge 12,000 sq m space for workshops and storing material.

The tour was part of EuropaCorp’s presentation of its strategic action plan for 2011 to 2014. EuropaCorp, which has directly invested some €6m in the nine soundstages, will be based at the site from 2012, vacating costly premises on the Rue Faubourg in central Paris.

Visitors briefly toured of one the soundstages as well as the building which will house EuropaCorp’s new headquarters, named the EuropaCorp Tower. The currently derelict shell was the backdrop for a scene from Besson’s 1993 film Leon.

Other investors in the soundstage component of the studio complex, with a price tag of €30m, comprise First Line (10%), Quinta Communications (25%) and Euro Media Group (25%).

The finance for the construction of the entire complex, costing some €130m, was provided by construction firm Vinci and the state development fund the Caisse des Depots et Consignations.