THE Beacon is finally back in action - as a police marine murder unit for a new TV series starring Nicola Walker of Spooks fame.

The Tele recently revealed that the waterfront venue at Custom House Quay would take a starring role in new crime mini-series Annika which will hit screens later this year.

It has been buzzing this week, with production crews descending on the area to begin filming scenes and support staff and catering buses brought in.

The crews have turned the arts centre into a 999 base, adorned with 'Scotland Police Headquarters' signs and complete with patrol cars for the fictional force parked outside - just yards away from Greenock Police Station.

The team have also been out filming on the River Clyde, pictured.

Beacon Arts is Scotland Police Headquarters during filming of Annika.

Beacon Arts is Scotland Police Headquarters during filming of Annika.

Annika filming on river off Gourock..

Annika filming on river off Gourock..

Award-winning actress Nicola - whose credits also include The Split, Last Tango in Halifax and Touching Evil - will play the Norwegian Detective Inspector Annika Strandhed, in a role she first took on in the acclaimed Radio 4 series.

Some filming by the Glasgow-based production firm Black Camel Pictures took place last month at East India Harbour and on the Clyde, with activity stepped up this week.

The Beacon has been closed for live productions since last March because of Covid, but under restrictions it can still be used for film productions.

Arabella Page Croft, co-founder of producers Black Camel Pictures, said: "The Beacon Arts Centre will be our sophisticated new base and home for the marine homicide unit, with its huge, beautiful glass windows directly onto the Clyde Estuary.

“We can’t wait to shoot in there and to try to capture the action of the show and the boats going up and down the waterways."

Walker's on-screen daughter Morgan will be played by rising star Silvie Furneaux.

Annika will be shown on UKTV’s crime channel Alibi, which also first screened smash hit drama Traces, starring Greenock actor Martin Compston.

A spokeswoman for the Beacon said: "We are pleased that the stunning Beacon building and its location in Inverclyde make it an attractive filming location and, while we remain closed for performances and our usual activities, that the building can be used in this way."