Proposals Unveiled for Midlothian Film and Television Studio
If successful, this would see two major film and television studios located in the Lothian region.
Plans for a major studio and film academy in Midlothian have been submitted by PSL Land, the company behind the failed Pentland Studios project.
The groups’ previous plans for a film and television studio on the outskirts of Edinburgh were halted by a tenant farmer.
PSL announced it has submitted a planning application for an alternative site at Saltersgate near Dalkeith. The submission follows last month’s announcement by Screen Scotland, which has opened talks to develop a world-class studio in Leith.
If successful, this would see two major film and television studios located in the Lothian region within the next two years.
PSL’s £250 million studio in the Pentland Hills was set to feature six large sound stages, as well as state-of-the-art workshops and studios. Development plans were halted, however, when a land court ruled that a tenant farmer could not be removed from the land.
Following the land court’s ruling, PSL was contacted by Buccleuch Estates, which offered the chance to build on the new site.
The proposed studio will encompass 48 acres of land, featuring nine sound stages, a media hub, commissary building and a series of workshops.
The original site will house a data centre, according to the planning application submitted by PSL.
PSL said it hopes to begin work on the new site this year and aims to have the studio operational by the end of 2020.
Nick Waugh, commercial property director and the commercial arm of Buccleuch Estates, said: “We recognise the importance of this ambitious project, and are delighted to play a role in helping deliver a world-class film studio to Scotland that will inevitably transform the Scottish creative industry and our reputation as a filming location across the globe.”
PSL is in discussions with Edinburgh Napier University over the creation of a Scottish Film Academy on the site, which could include student accommodation, screening rooms and world-class teaching facilities.
Concerns have previously been raised over Scotland’s ability to compete with other parts of the UK in regards to film and TV productions.
Northern Ireland is home to HBO’s world-famous Game of Thrones set, helping to attract thousands of visitors every year.
Read more: “World-class” Leith Film Studio Announced
With the exception of the Wardpark Studios in Cumbernauld, where the Outlander series is filmed, Scotland lags behind its national counterparts.
Speaking last month, Screen Scotland’s executive director, Isabel Davis, said Scotland must capitalise on a “global production boom” which is being led by streaming services such as Amazon or Netflix.
“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.