Planning permission for Scotland’s first purpose-built film and TV studio has been been given the green light by Scottish ministers.
Pentland Studios, which has achieved formal approval from the government, will be built at Straiton, near Edinburgh. No firm date has been set for start of construction.
The multi-million pound complex, which is due to feature six large sound stages, could ultimately include two backlots, a hotel, visitor centre, an energy centre or power plant, workshops and a film school campus with student accommodation.
The privately-funded project, a major rallying cry for local indsutry, has also been the souce of controversy for the past two years due to environmental concerns. It will be built on about 100 acres of greenbelt land at Old Pentland Farm in the Straiton area.
A handful of major US film and TV productions have shot in Scotland in recent years but have needed to use alternative warehouse spaces due to the lack of a custom-built facility, which it is hoped would stimulate significant inward investment and local business growth in the country. It is said that up to 1,600 jobs could be created by the project, which is likely to be built in phases.
Jim O’Donnell, director of development for developer PSL, said of the long-gestating project: “We are extremely pleased to have reached this major milestone in the studio complex’s journey, after a considerable period of time and work to date.
“We particularly want to thank those who have supported the project throughout the past three years, and we look forward to reaching the next milestone as soon as possible.”
A Scottish government spokeswoman told the BBC: “Ministers welcome the potential for significant socio-economic benefits on a local and national scale through job creation and economic development.
“The Scottish government is committed to seizing the opportunities available in film and television by significantly increasing investment and streamlining public sector support.
“We have marked our intention to support the screen sector with a doubling of investment to £20m next year for development, production and growth and share the sector’s ambition to see the creation of additional film and TV infrastructure to support continued growth in production spend.”