Deidre Brock SNP MP for Edinburgh North & Leith has called for the disused building in Leith formerly home to the wave energy company Pelamis Wave Power, to be converted into film studios and production facilities.
The Scottish Government recently announced plans to support more permanent facilities for local, UK and international productions in Scotland, with private investors already seeking consent for new studio facilities in Cumbernauld.
Ms Brock said: “From Outlander to Skyfall, there’s been a massive rise in filming in Scotland recently. We have top-notch locations, top-notch talent and now we need to expand the permanent studio facilities to back it up. Leith is the perfect place and Pelamis is the perfect spot to make this happen.
“The Pelamis building is a generous space in the centre of Leith’s vibrant creative hub. There’s all the facilities of the capital on your doorstep, together with easy access to some of the finest locations in the land, whether urban grit or iconic landmarks are what’s required.
“Film and TV productions are not just direct job creators, they showcase Scotland to the world, driving growth in tourism and other sectors. It’s great that we have a forward-thinking Scottish Government which recognises the potential of this industry and is throwing its weight behind plans to improve the facilities we have.
“The building was once home to world-leading innovation in wave energy – a film studio would be a fitting way to reappropriate these facilities. Let’s keep the momentum going and make Leith a major centre for the screen sector in Scotland.”
The building was formerly occupied by wave energy company Pelamis Wave Power led by CEO Dr Richard Yemm, but following difficulties with funding the company went into liquidation in November 2014.
The City of Edinburgh Council ran a consultation between December 2014 and February 2015 to find out ways of encouraging new jobs in the area. They recognised then the fragile nature of the renewable energy industry in Leith and also considered how the tram might be a real benefit.
The report brought to the council’s Economy Committee in December 2014 appears to foresee that Leith will become a creative hub in the future.
The creative, tourism and retail sectors are also considered to be of great importance in bringing people and business activity to the area and thus stimulating investor interest.