Scottish film studio plan is ‘dead in the water’ says MSP

Andy Wightman was speaking at FMQs
Andy Wightman was speaking at FMQs
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Controversial plans to create a purpose-built film studio on the outskirts of Edinburgh are “dead in the water” according to a local MSP.

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions, Green MSP Andy Wightman urged the government to find a new site for a film studio that doesn’t involve attempts to unlawfully evict tenants.

The £250m studio, which was to feature six huge sound stages, was planned for about 100 acres of greenbelt land in the Pentland hills, however, a court ruled that a tenant farmer could not be removed from his land.

While urging support for the film industry as a whole, Mr Wightman called on the First Minister to avoid a repeat of the fiasco that saw developers fail to evict the tenant.

Mr Wightman, a Green MSP for Lothian, said: “The First Minister must accept that this proposal is now dead in the water and that the Scottish Government and its agencies should take the lead in identifying a site for a film studio that does not involve the unlawful eviction of anyone.

“The First Minister will be aware that the Scottish Land Court has refused an application to evict a constituent of mine, Jim Telfer – a tenant under the Small Landholders Act – in order to sell the land to developers to build the Pentland Film studio that Scottish Ministers granted planning consent to in December 2017.

“A studio in Lothian would be welcome, but not without first considering the concerns of local communities.”

The studio project was described by the Scottish government in 2017 as being “of national importance”.