Edinburgh Film and TV Studio gets go ahead
Following an open tender process, Screen Scotland has appointed First Stage Studios Ltd to operate the studios in Port of Leith. Screen Scotland will invest GBP1 million towards the initial set up, refurbishment and running costs of the studio space.
The site in Edinburgh’s Port of Leith has previously been used as a filming facility to host Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War. The new studio is set to benefit the indigenous sector, as well as Scotland’s ability to attract high value international productions.
First Stage Studios Ltd, led by Oscar-nominated and BAFTA winning film and television producer Bob Last and actor and director Jason Connery have been appointed to run the large-scale film and TV studio space.
The studio is situated on a private gated 8.6 acre site and is leased from Forth Ports Limited on a 25-year lease. The plans include adaptable interior shooting options across 160,000 sq ft and the potential for 5 sound stages of between 50ft and 100ft in height. In addition, the plot has 27,000 sq ft of flexible production and office space; ample backlot provision allowing for significant production set-builds and ample crew, tech and unit base parking.
Screen Scotland’s Executive Director Isabel Davis commented, “the studio is key in expanding film and TV production in Scotland. We’re delighted to be working with First Stage Studios to bring it to life. Bob and Jason bring a wealth of expertise and industry knowledge that is invaluable to the development of the studio. Scotland is internationally renowned for its world-class talent, crews, facilities and breath-taking locations, this facility means we can raise the visibility of Scotland on screen, anchor more film and high-end television productions in Scotland and capitalise on the global boom in the industry”
In 2019, UK Film and high-end television production spend was over GBP3.6 billion, an increase of 16% on the previous year and the highest year on record. Available studio space is a key consideration when it comes to attracting incoming work, and is in high demand in the UK and throughout the world.
Iain Smith, Producer and Chair of the British Film Commission said: “I am delighted by today’s news of this appointment of a Scottish company to run this major studio facility in the heart of Edinburgh. It will bring massive benefits not only to the local screen sector, but also to the wider economy further bolstering the UK studio offer. The UK’s screen industries are enjoying exceptional growth and it is crucial that Scotland continues to play its part in this by continuing to develop a world-class infrastructure, invest in skills development and provide as much studio space as will enable Scotland to compete more effectively for this valuable inward investment business”.
In addition to UK wide 25% tax rebate on high-end TV and feature production, Scotland's Production Growth Fund aims to grow Scotland's screen production sector by attracting large scale productions into the country and maximising spend in Scotland. Awards are likely to range from GBP200,0-00 up to a maximum of GBP500,000.
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