New studio proposal could make Cumbernauld Scotland’s answer to Hollywood

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Cumbernauld could be home to a new television and film studio , after expansion plans were lodged at North Lanarkshire Council.

The world-class proposals involve Wardpark Studios , currently being used to film Sony’s smash hit series ‘Outlander’

Both NLC and the Scottish Government have confirmed that a private investor wants to expand with a new 30,000 square foot premises on-site.

This could boast two sound stages, production offices and a ‘backlot’ to the existing complex.

At 50 metres high, the building will be able to accommodate towering sets, lighting rigs and other heavy-duty apparatus.

The site’s existing owners have been working with the Film Studio Delivery Group from the Scottish Government, Creative Scotland and Scottish Enterprise to make the dream a reality.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “This application marks an important milestone in our work to strengthen the Scottish screen sector.

We are seeing significantly increased activity to our screen sector. Film and television producers spent an unprecedented £45.8 million shooting in Scotland in 2014

“This record total - an increase of almost £12 million compared to 2013, demonstrates a fast-growing appetite for productions to base themselves in Scotland.”

Meanwhile NLC’s new group leader Councillor Jim Logue said: “The scale of the hoped-for expansion at the studios presents a tremendous opportunity for Cumbernauld and North Lanarkshire.

“We are potentially looking at hundreds of jobs and tens of millions of punds pumped into the local economy in the next two decades.

“For all the glamour of a film and television production on our doorstep, the reality is the number of tradesmen and women who will benefit: electricians, painters, plasterers and joiners before we even think about the specialist technical roles associated with a studio.”

Meanwhile MSP Jamie Hepburn said: “This has the potential to become a fantastic facility and investment in the local area.

“It will of course be up to North Lanarkshire to assess the plan on its merits.”

His Scottish Nationalist colleague, MP Stuart McDonald added: “I am delighted that these existing proposals have reached this stage.

“It is clear that a huge amount of work has been going on to come up with a workable and viable plan.

“This announcement marks an important step forward in what I know has been a long journey.”