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FormatLab to focus on entertainment development for Scotland

New training initiative to focus on entertainment development for Scotland


TRC, in partnership with Screen Scotland, BBC, Channel 4 and Glasgow City Council, is set to launch a new training programme that aims to create the next wave of entertainment development talent for Scotland.

FormatLab will focus on the development of formats in factual entertainment including reality, shiny floor talent shows, game and quiz shows.

The initiative anticipates the growth in entertainment production from Scotland following the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council’s investment in a brand new 10,500 sq. ft. television production studio at Kelvin Hall (recently repurposed for Channel 4’s six-part prison drama Screw) alongside the success of the existing studios at the BBC’s Pacific Quay in Glasgow, already home to Richard Osman’s House of Games, Impossible and In for a Penny.

Developed by TRC in consultation with Screen Scotland, BBC, Channel 4 and independent production companies from across Scotland, FormatLab will feature training opportunities, expert mentoring and industry placements for eight candidates over nine months. Applicants will be placed with companies actively developing an entertainment portfolio and will be recruited from a wide variety of sectors and backgrounds to ensure the brightest, most diverse and creative cohort possible.

Funded by Screen Scotland, BBC, Channel 4 and Glasgow City Council the programme will be open for applications in October. Prospective applicants and companies interested in participating in FormatLab can register their interest through the TRC Mailing List or email

Culture Secretary Angus Robertson said:

“Scotland has a strong track record of producing high quality entertainment programmes that attract a wide audience in the UK and internationally.

“Working with its various partners, FormatLab will train new talent to grow this expanding and lucrative sector of the market and this exciting development can only benefit Scotland’s screen industries.”

David Smith, Director of Screen, Screen Scotland said that;

“We want to see Scotland based production companies winning the lion’s share of the new entertainment commissions that will go through the specialized TV production studio at Kelvin Hall, as well as the existing studios in Pacific Quay. Alongside our continuing skills development work across film and television, we’re actively increasing the range of Screen Scotland’s support for factual producers and programme makers.”

Kate Phillips, Controller, Entertainment, BBC also stated that,

“I know from personal experience what difference a scheme like this can make – finding TV fanatics from any walk of life, and exposing them to the best in the business, to learn how to make a format fly. We hope to see even bigger and bolder ideas coming out of Scotland as a result”

Phil Harris, Head of Entertainment, Channel 4, commented that;

“Channel 4 is committed to nurturing creative talent across the UK and we are really proud to be able to support FormatLab. This scheme will provide fantastic opportunities for entertainment development talent in Scotland – I can’t wait to work with this new cohort and see what great ideas get developed.”

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said:

“The film and broadcast studio hub at Kelvin Hall will play a key role in attracting even more productions to Glasgow, and further developing this healthy sector of the city’s economy.  This new training programme will support the development of the sector, and we can look forward to seeing new talent nurtured by the scheme creating new entertainment on our screens.”


Funded by






TRC is one of the UK’s leading training providers for Broadcast and Digital. TRC is a registered charity based in Glasgow, funded by Screen Scotland, BBC Nations and Regions and Channel 4.

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About the author

Rachelle Gallagher

Rachelle Gallagher

Marketing Executive at TRC