Stirling is set to take centre stage in Scotland's film and TV industry with the creation of one of the biggest studios in the country.  

Thousands of high-skilled jobs could be created after the green light was given to establish the studio campus on former MoD land at Forthside. 

The base - also known as Forthside Barracks - was built as an ordnance depot in 1899. It was purchased by Stirling Council for £5million in March this year and is now set to be transformed into a bustling production facility for the small and silver screens.  

Experts have assessed there is currently 100,000 sq ft of studio space and 110,000 sq ft for production, logistics and office space at the site, which overall comprises 360-acres.  

The site will continue to be owned by Stirling Council, but an operator will be appointed to run the studios and the project hoping to attract both UK and global productions. 

Chief Executive Carol Beattie said she is confident about the future success of the studios, following “overwhelmingly positive” feedback from industry figures. 

The Herald: An arial view of the site An arial view of the site (Image: Christopher Jackson Drone Videography & Photography)

She said: “In a previous role as Director of Creative Industries for Scottish Development International, I knew there was still an opening for more production space in Scotland. At that point, I spent time in London speaking to the British Film Commission and studio operators such as Pinewood, Three Mills and Warner Brothers to understand the specifications of a good site. 

“When I saw the unique buildings and location at Forthside, I considered it to be a fantastic fit, which has since been confirmed through our close consultation with the industry, including Screen Scotland.” 

The project has been supported by repurposing a proportion of the £19m grant secured by the council from UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund (LUF) for the redevelopment and regeneration of Forthside. 

Stirling Council Leader, Cllr Chris Kane said the studio could be “truly transformational” for the area.  

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He said: “We have an opportunity to embed an industry in our city which will bring thousands of high-skilled jobs, put us on a global creative map and deliver a significant economic boost to the region over many decades. 

“By making innovative use of the existing buildings on a former military site, we are creating a studio campus that will provide everything film producers need to meet demand in a thriving sector.  

“Students in our schools, our college and our University will be able to pursue creative careers right here in Stirling that in the past would have meant having to consider leaving to chase opportunities elsewhere.”  

He added: “I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work in getting us to this point.  We are determined to seize the moment for the people of Stirling and realise the rewards of this ambitious project.”  

The Herald: The site will be transformed The site will be transformed (Image: Christopher Jackson Drone Videography & Photography)

Some of the buildings already on the site will be retained and refurbished for the film and high-end TV campus.  

The remainder of the land will be redeveloped and cleared.  

The site has already been used as a filming location which will provide valuable experiences and lessons to serve future high-end productions, Stirling Council said.  

UK Government Minister for Scotland John Lamont added: "Scotland and the UK are a true film and TV production success story and the creation of Stirling Studios to add to the high-quality portfolio of content being produced on these shores is brilliant news. 

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"I'm delighted that £24 million UK Government funding is helping Stirling Council to purchase and redevelop the former MoD Forthside site. The jobs and economy boosting regeneration that will follow will provide fabulous opportunities for the region.  

"The UK Government is committed to making sure that Scotland and the wider UK remains an attractive location for film and high-end TV productions. That is why we have supported our world-leading creative industries with £1 billion in tax reliefs. In total we are investing £72 million in levelling up Stirling and Clackmannanshire and more than £3 billion across Scotland." 

The Herald: Isabel Davis, Executive Director of Screen Scotland, and Carol Beattie Isabel Davis, Executive Director of Screen Scotland, and Carol Beattie (Image: Whyler Photography/Stirling Council)

Isabel Davis, Executive Director of Screen Scotland said: “The Stirling site’s location and ready potential for conversion into a studio are both exceptionally promising. Scotland has recently seen significant growth in productions looking to access its internationally recognised cast and crew, as well as its versatile natural and built environments. 

“This new site will only add to Scotland’s considerable offering as a filming destination. Working with Stirling Council on this over the last few months, we have been very encouraged by the visionary approach that the team there have taken to get to this stage, including the opportunity to grow the local crew base. We look forward to continuing to work with them towards the realisation of the project.”