An industrial site near Edinburgh that was used to shoot parts of Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War” is being primed as a permanent major film and TV studio in Scotland. Local film agency Screen Scotland is asking for private partners to join the project to develop the 8.6-acre site at Bath Road in the Port of Leith, which is owned by Forth Ports Ltd.
The site spans 160,000 square feet and has the potential for five sound stages. There is also 27,000 square feet of potential workshop, production, and office space, and back-lot provision allowing for significant production set-builds.
Plans to set up a major new studio in Scotland have long been in the making. An earlier project, also near Edinburgh, received planning permission but has been complicated by a legal objection. Screen Scotland told Variety that the earlier proposal, known as the Pentland Studios project, remains alive and that the new proposed development at Bath Road would complement it. Bath Road could be in operation by the end of 2019, the organization said.
In its call for partners, Screen Scotland is seeking participants who can redevelop and operate the site. It says that a healthy indie production sector, skilled local technicians and support from the Scottish government provide a sound basis for building a major new studio in Scotland.
The move comes at a time when demand for studio space in the U.K. is fast outstripping supply. Fueled by a generous tax break and decent infrastructure, Britain has become a sought-after location for major film and high-end TV shoots.
New space is coming online at Pinewood and Shepperton, and there are new studios in the works in or around East London and the English cities of Leeds, Liverpool and Oxford.
“The enormous potential of 31 Bath Road was demonstrated when it hosted Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ last year,” said Isabel Davis, director of Screen Scotland. “Its scale, accessibility, proximity to crew and central Edinburgh, and its ability to be rapidly adapted make it a highly attractive proposition and one that could swiftly provide a home in Scotland for large-scale productions.”
Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish government’s secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs, added: “We welcome the launch of this tender process, which aims to enhance Scotland’s screen infrastructure and give private-sector operators an opportunity to invest in Scotland’s growing screen sector.”