Local campaigners are seeking to secure support to create facilities in the region to meet growing demand for film production across the north of Scotland.
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead has thrown his support behind the campaign having previously supported calls to develop facilities at Kinloss Barracks.
He recently met with Sam Hill, Managing Director of Openbrolly, and Marc Hindley of Screen Moray who have “picked up the baton” in the campaign to create film production facilities in the region.
Mr Lochhead, speaking after the meeting, said: “Moray has a growing creative sector and there is certainly growing demand for film production facilities in Scotland. It’s exciting to see Sam and Marc making the case for a facility in our local area, which could be a major resource for the north of Scotland and could lead to a cluster of companies springing up in the region.
“With amazing coastlines and landscapes on our doorstep, as well as being a gateway to the Highlands, we have so much to offer films crews looking to shoot in Scotland.
“This is an idea that has been discussed in the past and I’ve previously called on the MoD to look at making unused hangers at Kinloss available for film companies that are always on the lookout for large spaces they can use.
“Many other countries have been able to transform former military buildings into studio spaces and film locations.
“As local MSP I’ll do what I can to support the campaign for a film studio for Moray and am in touch with Creative Scotland and Screen Scotland encouraging them to engage with those pushing for investment in creative industries locally.
“I’ve also contacted HIE to ask what support they might be able to offer.”
Openbrolly is a software company based in Moray that provides MovieSite software to film offices.
Ms Hill, the firm’s managing director, says that the creation of a film studio will bring multiple benefits to the region.
She said: “It’s not a revolutionary idea, but there is no question as to the benefits a studio will bring to the area, from increased employment rates to tourism gains.
“By having studio facilities in Moray, productions will be able to shoot here more often, stay longer and return more frequently.
“Our main objectives for the build is to not only increase gains for the creative industry but also the community.
“Building a net zero, multi-purpose studio will also allow us to provide hot desking opportunities for local businesses, facilitate large or small scale events and offer training and support, therefore reducing the northern ‘leak’ of creative talent to the central belt or further afield.
“We are currently seeking interested parties and members of the community to join our working group for the Build The Studio project.”
Screen Moray provides support for film and tv companies finding and using facilities in Moray.
And Mr Hindley adds that the studio will not just be for the “big spenders”.
He said: Building a studio right here in Moray has huge benefits for tourism. Not only for the facility itself, but also because film locations often become attractions in their own right.
“Films such as Local Hero, Harry Potter and Outlander are all great examples of productions creating long-term interest in the area. And we’ve recently seen television productions Peaky Blinders, Escape to the Country, Landward, This Farming Life and Jay Blades touring Toolshed being filmed nearby. It’s a growing list.
“The area itself is becoming more widely known as a destination and productions will be looking for facilities in the area.
“And it won’t just be for the big spenders, it could have small studio spaces as well as large, increasing facilities in general for the creative sector.”
The news comes after Moray Council’s Economic Development and Infrastructure Services Committee agreed to make filming in the region easier for film and television purposes last week.