Scotland politics

MSPs warn against Scottish film studio decision delay

Still from Outlander Image copyright Nick Briggs
Image caption The television series Outlander was filmed on location in Scotland

A decision on a private bid to build a Scottish film and television studio should be made "as soon as possible", a group of MSPs has warned.

A report by the economy, energy and tourism committee said a delay could cause "lasting damage" to the industry.

Last month Scottish Enterprise confirmed it was considering the bid and expected to reach a decision by the end of April.

The committee also called for a plan to develop the television sector.

The report follows an inquiry into the economic impact of Scotland's film, TV and video games industries.

The Holyrood committee heard criticism from people working in the film and television industry that Scotland is lagging behind other parts of the UK, and losing out on business, because of a lack of facilities.

Convener Murdo Fraser MSP said: "Scotland needs a film and TV studio. Any further delay is likely to cause lasting damage to our film and TV industries."

He also said the industry had great potential, but more collaboration was needed.

Mr Fraser said: "This report makes clear that, to achieve that growth, the support that they receive from the government and its agencies must be informed by the industries themselves.

"Agencies working collaboratively and in collaboration with the industries are the key to success.

"It is evident that this is not currently happening. This must be addressed urgently."

'Shared plan'

The report also raised concerns that a strategy for developing the television sector was not included in Creative Scotland's latest 10-year plan.

A spokeswoman from Creative Scotland welcomed the recommendations.

She said: "They highlight the opportunities for Scotland's economic growth and prosperity through supporting and stimulating the creative industries to generate new content, innovate and thrive.

"We will consider them carefully as a matter of priority and work closely with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Scottish government and other partners to develop a clear, shared plan for their delivery."

Scottish Enterprise said it would also look at the findings as a priority.

In February, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop revealed Scottish Enterprise was considering a bid for a privately-funded film studio in Scotland.

It emerged the proposal would exceed the original development brief with one of the highest soundstages in the UK.

Scottish Enterprise had previously been considering five different public options - including one in Glasgow and one in Cumbernauld.

The Scottish government set up a Film Studio Delivery Group in 2013 which invited bids to create a studio in Scotland.

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