Scotland’s government has given the go-ahead for the country’s first film and TV studio to be built on the outskirts of Edinburgh. The £250M ($310M) Pentland Studios, a privately-funded project that was first announced in August 2014 before hitting a number of planning permission obstacles, is expected to take shape within a matter of months with the first studio facilities planned to be operational by the end of 2018.
The fully-fledged studio complex will feature six sound stages on around 100 acres of land across the greenbelt land at Old Pentland Farm in the Straiton area just outside of the Scottish capital. According to a report in the local paper The Scotsman, the Pentland Studios scheme will include two Hollywood-style backlots, a 180-room hotel, a 50,000 square foot creative industries hub and 50,000 square feet of workshop space and a film academy.
The move will surely come as a welcome one for the film and television business in Scotland, which has increasingly become a more attractive place for local and Hollywood fare to shoot. Empty warehouses had to be transformed in Edinburgh to house productions such as Outlander, T2 Trainspotting and Avengers: Infinity War, the latter of which is currently being filmed in the city.
UK studios are already bursting at the seams trying to accommodate the influx of U.S. and international film and TV productions thanks to attractive tax incentives and now, since the Brexit vote, a devalued British pound, which makes the territory a much cheaper place to shoot that in previous years. As local production is increasingly looking to tap into more regional locations (in February the BBC announced it was launching BBC Scotland, a channel geared specifically towards Scottish audiences), a new studio facility would be a boon to the business.
Developers at Pentland Studios Limited said in a statement: “We’re very pleased with the decision by ministers to approve planning permission in principle for Scotland’s world-class film and TV studio complex, and we will be moving forward immediately with the application for planning permission in detail.”