Scotland’s first purpose-built film & TV studio wins formal government backing



Scottish ministers have granted planning permission in principle for the country’s first purpose-built film and TV studio following a long-running planning battle.

Developers PSL Land Ltd said the Pentland Studios, which will be based near Straiton, outside Edinburgh, could help kick-start Scotland’s film industry and create more than 900 jobs.

The decision to back the Keppie-designed facility overturns an earlier recommendation from a Scottish Government reporter that permission be refused.

The proposal was called in by the government after Midlothian Council failed to make a ruling on the application, which was originally submitted in 2014. Ministers deemed the studio to be of “national significance” and used its Directorate of Planning and Environmental Appeals to rule on the application.

Developers behind the £850 million development on the site of the St James shopping centre in Edinburgh tried to block the plans last January amid fears it could undermine its own project.

WSP in Edinburgh, which has been instrumental in helping client PSL Land Ltd achieve planning permission in principle, has welcomed the decision.

The engineering professional services consulting firm was appointed in 2014 to assist in the planning of the world-class film and TV studio. As the project progresses onto the next stage, the team in Edinburgh will continue to support on the civil and structural, environmental and geotechnical areas of the project.

PSL Land Ltd is now working towards securing planning in detail.

David Campbell, technical director at WSP, said: “We are delighted that the scheme has been granted planning permission from the Scottish Government. It’s truly a unique project and we’ve enjoyed helping Pentland Studios in the planning process. We now look forward to start working on the next stage.”

Director of development for PSL, Jim O’Donnell, added: “We are extremely pleased to have reached this major milestone in the studio complex’s journey, after a considerable period of time and work to date. We particularly want to thank those including WSP who have supported the project throughout the past three years, and we look forward to reaching the next milestone as soon as possible.”



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