Filmmakers raise questions over ‘rushed’ plans to build Port of Leith studios

Proposed Bath Road Studios, Leith Docks
Proposed Bath Road Studios, Leith Docks
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Filmmakers are questioning what they claim are “very rushed” plans for a new film and TV studio for Scotland in a former wavepower factory.

Screen Scotland, the publicly-funded body tasked with boosting the industry north of the Border, has identified a huge building in Bath Street as the site for the studio.

READ MORE: Empty Leith Docks warehouse to become ‘world class’ film and TV studio

It is looking for a private developer to lease, refurbish and run it with tax-payers’ money also potentially available.

Screen Scotland said increasing studio infrastructure was “a key priority” for the industry.

But the Association of Film and Television Practitioners Scotland (AFTPS) have raised a series of questions about how the project would work.

The lobbying group, set up by film and television freelancers to campaign for more production in Scotland, previously warned of growing anger and frustration over the failure to build any permanent studio facilities.

On Friday, Screen Scotland – part of Creative Scotland, the public body that supports the arts – launched a tender process for private operators to take on the 160,000 sq ft waterside facility and run it as a commercial studio. A decision will be made on the winner of the tender by April.

Screen Scotland also insisted that “all eligible submissions” would be considered by an “evaluation team made up of representatives of Screen Scotland and professional advisers”.

But AFTPS said the tender document “lacks significant detail regarding the physical requirements of the studio facility yet demands a massively detailed financial and logistical proposal be prepared in an almost impossible timescale by potential bidders”.