New Dalkeith film studio plans welcomed

The planned Saltersgate film studio. Photo: Keppie Architects.
The planned Saltersgate film studio. Photo: Keppie Architects.

The announcement that new plans have been submitted for a multi-million pound film studio in Midlothian has been welcomed.

The company, which dropped plans for a film studio at Pentland Farm last year, last week submitted an application to Midlothian Council for a 48-acre film studio adjacent to Dalkeith Country Park.

Site plan for the proposed Dalkeith film studio at Saltersgate.

Site plan for the proposed Dalkeith film studio at Saltersgate.

PSL Land, the team behind the Pentland Studios project, has now shifted its attention to the site at Salters Road, where it proposes to build a studio and a film academy.

Midlothian councillors will hear an initial report on the plans at the council’s planning meeting next Tuesday.

Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie (SNP) spoke of the potential boost to the local economy and the jobs this proposed development could bring to the area.

He said: “I welcome the announcement from PSL Land that they are considering land on Salters Road as a potential site for a major film and TV studio.

“This development has the potential to bring quality jobs to the local community and will be beneficial for local businesses in the area.

“I look forward to seeing the final design of the studio and also the detail of the planning proposals.”

The planned new studio would have nine sound stages across 208,000 square feet.

And PSL is talking to Edinburgh Napier University about establishing a Scottish Film Academy on the site.

Midlothian MP Danielle Rowley (Lab) also welcomed the news of the Dalkeith plans.

She said: “It’s good news that a new site has been proposed for the major film and TV studio. The prospect of bringing new jobs to Midlothian and a boost to our local economy is most certainly welcome. I have written to the studio’s developers requesting to meet with them regarding the project.”

PSL’s long-running plan for a £250 million studio on 100 acres of greenbelt land at Pentland Farm was halted when a land court ruled that the tenant farmer could not be removed from the land.

After the case, Buccleuch Estates contacted PSL Land to offer up the new site four miles away, adjacent to Dalkeith Country Park. There is now a sale agreement in principle between the two parties.

Nick Waugh, commercial property director at the commercial arm of Buccleuch Estates, said: “We recognize the importance of this ambitious project, and are delighted to play a role in helping deliver a world-class film studio to Scotland that will inevitably transform the Scottish creative industry and our reputation as a filming location across the globe.”

PSL Land declined the opportunity to comment at this stage.

The response when we broke the news last week on the Advertiser website was mostly positive.

On our Facebook page Jane Gray said: “Great news I think. I’m right in the middle of these plans, fingers crossed it goes ahead.”

While Billy Laidlaw added: “Makes good use of this land. Why should anybody be against?”

And Ewan Dunsire added: “This is great news for the local economy.”

However Bruce Reid asked: “What about all the wildlife being thrown out of their habitat?”

A public consultation on the new film studio plans, designed by Keppie Architects, is scheduled to take place at Woodburn Primary School, Dalkeith, on Thursday, January 31, from 4-8pm.