A decision by ministers over whether a £140m film studio can be built on the outskirts of Edinburgh will not be made until after the Holyrood elections.

Backers of the scheme to build Pentlands Studio in Straiton are not likely to hear a decision on the plan until after the poll in May.

The wholly private bid, by PSL Land Ltd, was "called in" by the Scottish Government after the initial planning decision was delayed by Midlothian Council.

While the studio has now also received support from an influential member of Edinburgh City Council, it will be the summer before a decision on planning-in-principle is given to the developers.

Meanwhile, a government-backed scheme in the central belt, believed to be in Cumbernauld, is still in development.

A government spokesman said that the forthcoming period of political 'purdah', before elections and due to begin officially on March 23, will not effect or slow deliberations - but that the decision will likely be after the election in May.

Het said: "The exchanges of written submissions with regard to this appeal are on-going and the reporter is waiting further comments from parties in response to matters raised by SNH [Scottish Natural Heritage].

"With that in mind, it is extremely unlikely that the pre-election period will have any impact on this appeal."

It is, however, understood that PSL believe there is no further paperwork to be filed in regards to SNH's notes.

Belle Doyle, a leading freelance film and TV locations consultant, said she expected the timing and added: "We look forward to a time when the Scottish Government can make a decision about this very important site, and we hope that the Ministers would be mindful of the fact that Scottish film and TV crew have been waiting for many years for a professionally built production space."

PSL want to build a film and TV studio and backlot complex, as well as an hotel, film studio, and student accommodation.

Councillor Frank Ross, convener of the Economy Committee of Edinburgh City Council has thrown his weight behind the development.

He says in a letter of support: "I am writing in my capacity as convener of the Economy Committee of the City of Edinburgh Council to express my support for the proposals for a mixed-use development at Straiton centred on a world-class film studio complex.

"I am pleased that you have selected a site on the outskirts of Edinburgh for your project.

"Edinburgh is steadily rising in popularity as a filming location; 361 productions were filmed in and around Edinburgh [in 2014], representing a total of 1,076 filming days – up 7% on 2013.

"The combination of the region’s cinematic urban and natural landscapes with a purpose-built film studio has the potential to establish Scotland as an international hub for film production."

He adds: "In addition to directly creating hundreds of new jobs, I believe your project has the potential to enhance Edinburgh’s tourist offering, boost the city’s creative sector and catalyse greatly increased investment in film production in Scotland.

"I am greatly encouraged by the breadth of skills and experience within your executive team and the intense interest from private funders."

He concludes by saying he hopes that Edinburgh can work with Midlothian Council to make the project a "reality".