Midlothian film studio plans lodged

An artist's impression of the propsed film studio development

An artist's impression of the propsed film studio development

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An application has been lodged for planning permission in principle with Midlothian Council for the unique mixed-use studio development site at Straiton.

It is proposed the 86 acre site will host a world-class film and television production facility incorporating six sound stages, an external water-stage, two backlots, workshops and production office spaces. Complementing the core studio campus will be a film academy and student residence, a visitor attraction and hotel.

A data centre and satellite-link ‘earth station’, parking areas and an innovative CHP energy centre will support the future-proofed complex.

PSLL Development Director Jim O’Donnell said: “We look forward to creating a world-class facility to complement Scotland’s existing studio spaces and stunning locations. Situated on the outskirts of one of Europe’s greatest cities, the proposed studio will place broadcast, indigenous and international film production needs at the forefront, whilst retaining the character and integrity of the local area and its natural beauty.”

The studio design team is led by award-winning multi-disciplinary architectural practice Keppie Design. Centred around a landscaped oasis, the 50,000 sq ft reception building will provide a creative hub for resident production companies, staff and visiting crew with a studio commissary offering stunning views of the Pentland Hills across a landscaped glen.

Alan Seddon, Keppie Design Divisional Director, Architecture, added: “Film and television play an important role in people’s lives, but for most of us their production is such a remote activity, both physically and emotionally. That a project like this should be coming to Scotland is amazing and we at Keppie feel genuinely privileged to have been involved in getting it to this stage. Now that we have achieved such a significant milestone, we have our sights firmly set on the next stage and are looking forward to delivering the studio itself.”

Expanding general access to the development, an on-site hotel property is also proposed to further the commitment of inward investment and employment generation for the area. Welcoming both studio guests and outside clientele, the planned 180-bed hotel will include a swimming pool and gymnasium as elements of a health spa.

Continuing detailed conversations with a range of partners and potential users of the various spaces and elements that comprise the mixed-use site, PSLL have reserved 11.95 acres for future employment land. Providing options for further development once the initial phase of the complex has been completed, this space protects the primary studio investment, precluding any future residential development by external parties.