Cumbernauld film studio extension plan approved
North Lanarkshire Council has agreed to proposals to significantly enhance the existing production facilities at Wardpark Studios to a new facility complete with six sound stages, production offices, ancillary spaces and a back lot.
Already comprising 48,000 square feet across four sound stages, Wardpark Studios has been used for the production of the first and second series of Sony’s award-winning historical drama Outlander.
Welcoming the decision, Terry Thomson, chairman of Wardpark Studios Limited, said: “This planning permission means we can move forward with the initial preparatory work to create new site access, car parking and building alternations.
“The entire complex is currently let to Sony for Outlander, so we’re seeking their co-operation to start these works as soon as possible without disrupting their filming schedules.
“We’re committed to making this expansion happen. When the development is complete, we’ll have added a further 30,000 square feet across two new 50 foot-high sound stages, bringing our total facility to 78,000 square feet across six sound stages.
“We still have work to do before we can fully embrace the expansion project. We need to finalise our business plan, confirm some commercial arrangements to ensure we can fund the development, and agree the potential package of public sector support.
“We’ve already attracted Sony’s award-winning historical drama Outlander’s first and second series, and we know there is demand from other international and indigenous productions for purpose-built studio facilities in Scotland. We’re confident we can make this expansion a commercial success.”
David Smith, director of creative industries at Scottish Enterprise, on behalf of the Film Studio Delivery Group said: “Securing this planning permission is a further milestone for Wardpark Studios and their ambitious expansion plans.
“UK production spend continues to grow as a result of tax relief schemes, creating strong demand for studio space across the UK which Scotland can exploit through private sector developments such as Wardpark Studios.
“We and our Film Studio Delivery Group partners remain fully committed to working with the private sector to support additional screen infrastructure developments in Scotland. We remain keen to hear from any developers with projects they want to bring forward.”