Scotland’s share of the UK’s film studio space continues to grow, according to research

Research into the UK’s film and TV production industry shows that Scotland accounts for around 15% of total stage space outside of London
Research into the UK’s film and TV production industry shows that Scotland accounts for around 15% of total stage space outside of London

SCOTLAND’S share of the UK’s film studio space continues to grow, as more re-purposed properties and studio conversions underpin the ambition of making the country a hub for high-end productions, according to new analysis from an independent commercial property consultancy.

Knight Frank’s research into film and television production in the UK found that Scotland now accounts for around 15% of total stage space outside of London and the south-east of England, with plans submitted for several other major purpose-built facilities.

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There has been a flurry of activity in the sector, according to the research, with Pioneer Film Studios in Glasgow – a former warehouse and whisky distillery – recently becoming Scotland’s newest and largest film studio. The facility provides up to 200,000 sq ft of studio space, as well as supporting workshop and yard spaces.

A potential 44-acre, zero-carbon campus at Gartcosh – Edinburgh Caledonian Film Studios – could provide up to an additional 305,000 sq ft of stage space, 168,000 sq ft of workshop space, and 10,000 sq ft of production offices.

Knight Frank says attempts to grow the film industry have been hindered by a shortage of purpose-built studio space – particularly in Edinburgh – with attempts to build new facilities hampered by obstacles such as land ownership and a lack of funding.

However, there has been an increased appetite from investors for Scottish studio assets, with two major facilities changing hands last year. Wardpark Studios in Cumbernauld, previously the largest purpose-built film studio in Scotland, was acquired by Hackman Capital Partners and Square Mile Capital Management.

Pyramid Business Park – a redeveloped manufacturing site which hosted the filming of the second season of Good Omens, Trainspotting T2, and Netflix’s Outlaw King – was purchased by London and Regional during 2021.

Alasdair Steele, head of Scotland commercial at Knight Frank, said: “There has been a steady rise in inward investment to Scotland’s film sector as more global productions choose Scotland’s natural landscape and scenery, strong creative sector, competitive tax credits and world-class talent pool.

“We are now beginning to see the amount of studio space capable of facilitating more of these projects coming on stream and providing the long-missing piece of the puzzle, driving the vision for Scotland as a standout location on the world stage.”