Scotland has long been in the market for a major film and TV studio. The latest hope is an industrial site near Edinburgh that was used to shoot some of Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War in 2017.
The building, three miles outside the Scottish capital in the Port of Leith, was built in 2000 for engineering firm VA Tech but closed four years later. Local film and TV agency Screen Scotland has launched a tender process for a developer to lease, refurbish and run the facility.
The agency hopes a studio could be up and running by the end of 2019 and it said some public money could be available to assist with the refurbishment. The ambition is for the 160,000 sq ft space to include up to five sound stages, workshops, production areas and a large backlot.
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Scotland has long craved a major studio space and a handful of sites have been proposed in recent years. Another near-Edinburgh site, the Pentland Studios project, previously received planning permission but its go-ahead has been complicated by a legal dispute. It remains in play, however.
The UK remains hungry for new studios space. Inward investment from Hollywood studios continues to boom due to favourable tax breaks and shared language. Pinewood is growing its studio space and there are new venues planned for East London, Leeds, Liverpool and Oxford.
Isabel Davis, Executive Director, Screen Scotland said, “The enormous potential of 31 Bath Road was demonstrated when it hosted Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War last year. Its scale, accessibility, proximity to crew and central Edinburgh and its ability to be rapidly adapted make it a highly attractive proposition and one that could swiftly provide a home in Scotland for large scale productions. The site presents a fantastic opportunity to increase Scotland’s screen infrastructure, and capitalise on the unprecedented production boom, which will have a hugely positive impact on our screen sector and the wider economy.”
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