Film office for Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders

First Stage Studios to open in Leith

13/03/20

First Stage Studios Ltd, run by BAFTA-winning producer Bob Last and actor/director Jason Connery, has been appointed to run the new Scottish film and TV studio space in Bath Road, Leith, in Edinburgh.

Screen Scotland is investing £1M into “the initial set-up, refurbishment and running costs”. First Stage Studios is expected to raise further private funding as and when it is needed. The existing 8.6-acre site, which is being leased for up to 25 years from Forth Ports, has the potential for five soundstages of up to 100-ft in height as well as ample backlot provision.

The studio space in Edinburgh has already hosted major international productions, including Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War. It will benefit both the indigenous sector and Scotland’s ability to attract high value international productions that work with the local sector.

Screen Scotland’s Executive Director Isabel Davis commented: “The studio is key in expanding film and TV production in Scotland. We’re delighted to be working with First Stage Studios to bring it to life. Bob and Jason bring a wealth of expertise and industry knowledge that is invaluable to the development of the studio.

“Scotland is internationally renowned for its world-class talent, crews, facilities and breath-taking locations, this facility means we can raise the visibility of Scotland on screen, anchor more film and high-end television productions in Scotland and capitalise on the global boom in the industry.”

Bob Last of First Stage Studios Ltd commented: "We look forward to building on the strong interest already expressed by international and UK customers. We are grateful to Screen Scotland for their commitment to an ambitious film and television sector and look forward to contributing to its development."

Jason Connery of First Stage Studios commented: “There is no question Scotland needs a film studio, I could not be more excited to be involved in bringing it to fruition”

Iain Smith, Producer and Chair of the British Film Commission said: “I am delighted by today’s news of this appointment of a Scottish company to run this major studio facility in the heart of Edinburgh. It will bring massive benefits not only to the local screen sector, but also to the wider economy further bolstering the UK studio offer. The UK’s screen industries are enjoying exceptional growth and it is crucial that Scotland continues to play its part in this by continuing to develop a world-class infrastructure, invest in skills development and provide as much studio space as will enable Scotland to compete more effectively for this valuable inward investment business.”

Cllr Adam McVey, City of Edinburgh Council Leader said “This is a very exciting boost for the creative industries in the capital and the Council is delighted to have been involved in this project throughout. With strong links to the film industry already – which is testament to the efforts of Film Edinburgh, our city’s film-friendly approach and annual international film festival – it’s fantastic that First Stage Studios Ltd will be running an internationally competitive studio in Leith. There will be even more benefits to the City when large scale filming takes place, bringing great economic benefits to Leith and our whole City.”

Stuart Wallace, Chief Operating Officer, Forth Ports which owns the land said: “Everyone at Forth Ports is thrilled to be welcoming First Stage Studios to the Port of Leith. This is great news for Scotland’s film industry and for Scottish film buffs. Our ‘blue shed’ has proved popular with the creative industry in the past with the Avengers Infinity Wars using Leith as a studio space for their film production. We look forward to working with First Stage Studios and we wish them every success with this.”