“World-Class” Leith Film Studio Announced
Having already been used to film Avengers: Infinity War, the Pelamis warehouse in Leith could become a global production hub.
Edinburgh’s waterfront is set to become the home of a national film and television studio complex, according to Screen Scotland.
The Pelamis warehouse in Leith will feature world-class production facilities, enabling it to host blockbuster film productions and TV series by end of 2019.
Screen Scotland, a publicly-funded body which aims to boost the industry in Scotland, is in the process of finding a suitable private developer to take on the project.
The organisation has launched a tender process for a developer to lease and refurbish the former wave power plant.
Edinburgh in the Spotlight
The building was constructed in 2000 for engineering firm, VA Tech. However, after four years it closed its doors – laying empty for several years before Pelamis took over.
Most recently, the building was temporarily turned into a film studio during the filming of Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War.
Following on from this success, Screen Scotland wants the building to be a permanent production facility.
According to the organisation, this could feature five sound stages, production areas, a host of workshops and a large-scale backlot.
Isabel Davis, Executive Director of Screen Scotland, said they are “excited” about the potential of the site.
Both the building’s size and height make it a prime candidate location for a film studio.
Previously, concerns have been raised over Scotland’s ability to attract major film and television productions. A lack of adequate studio space could put Scotland at a disadvantage compared to other parts of the UK.
Northern Ireland, in particular, has seen a production boom following since the arrival of the Game of Thrones set.
In November, plans for another film studio in Scotland were stalled by a court decision in favour of a tenant farmer. The £250 million studio was due to be constructed on more than 100 acres of land in the Pentland hills to the south of Edinburgh.
While the studio was described by the Scottish Government as a project “of national importance” the Scottish Land Court ruled that land from two smallholdings could not be touched.
One major production in Scotland has been the popular Amazon Prime series, Outlander, which is filmed at the Wardpark Studios in Cumbernauld. Similarly, large portions of the recent Netflix film, Outlaw King were also filmed on the west coast.
Davis noted that a “global production boom” was being driven by the popularity of streaming sites such as Netflix and Amazon. Tapping into this could greatly benefit Scotland.
“We know the appetite is there for more space and we are feeling that both from the local industry and the global industry,” she commented.
Private Sector Support
Private sector proposals will also be accepted for the project, Screen Scotland confirmed.
“We will be looking at what they are offering in terms of the private sector investment,” Davis commented. “We will also be looking at what is being asked of us as the public sector and we will be appointing somebody to run the facility in April of 2019.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, welcomed the decision to include the private sector, commenting: “We welcome the launch of this tender process, which aims to enhance Scotland’s screen infrastructure and give private sector operators an opportunity to invest in Scotland’s growing screen sector.”