Midlothian's new 'world class' film and TV studio plans: What we know so far

Major plans have been unveiled for a world-class film and TV studio complex in the outskirts of Edinburgh.

Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 1:46 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 1:52 pm
An artist's impression of how the new development could look.

The project at Dalkeith, which is being pursued by one of Scotland's biggest landowners, comes after a previous proposal for studios just four miles away was stalled when the land court ruled in favour of a farmer who objected to the development.

Here is everything we know so far about the new film and TV studio plans for the site at Saltersgate.

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Plans revealed for '˜world-class' film and TV studio in Midlothian

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What would it be like?

Nine sound stages would be created at a 48-acre site. There would be around 200,000 sq ft of studio space and around 120,000 sq ft of workshop space.

Talks are also ongoing with Edinburgh Napier University about establishing a film academy on the site.

Who is behind it?

The film studio would be built on land currently owned by the Duke of Buccleuch's property empire, Buccleuch Estates.

Buccleuch Estates has joined forces with PSL Land, the developers behind a previous studio scheme thwarted in the wake of a bitter legal battle with a farmer, to draw up plans for the site at Saltersgate.

Previous Refusal

The latest project is being pursued for a site around four miles away from the one first proposed for the Pentland Studios project in 2014.

Buccleuch Estates approached PSL Land after the Scottish Land Court found in favour of farmer Jim Telfer and his family, who had occupied the land for more than a century.

When could the Dalkeith studio open?

PSL Land, who have lodged a planning application with Midlothian Council, hope to begin work on site within months and have the studio up and running by the end of 2020.

Developers' comments

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 consultant Nick Smith told entertainment site Variety: “You look at what’s happening in the Bristol and South Wales corridor or Belfast, and the one area of the UK that is missing out by a country mile and has been for years is Scotland.”

Leith plans for 'world class' film studio

The deal for the Saltersgate site comes just weeks after it emerged that an empty warehouse in Leith Docks had been earmarked by the Scottish Government and its screen agency for a studio development. A search is underway for a developer and operator for the Leith project.