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Record film production spend

Published: 7 Sep 2015 00:01

Film and TV makers invest more than £45 million in Scotland.

Film and TV producers spent a record £45.2 million shooting on location in Scotland in 2014, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop revealed today.

The record high total - an increase of almost £12 million compared with 2013 - demonstrates a fast growing appetite from major film and high-end TV makers to use Scotland as a backdrop for their productions.

It follows Creative Scotland's work to support large productions to film in Scotland in recent years, including the much anticipated Sunset Song and Macbeth, The Legend of Barney Thomson, Iona, Sunshine on Leith, Under the Skin and Outlander, and current productions including Tommy's Honour and Moon Dogs.

Ms Hyslop announced the record production spend total today ahead of a set visit to Bannan, the first Gaelic drama series to be commissioned for BBC ALBA and currently filming in Skye.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

"This rise in production spend is a strong indication that film producers have a growing appetite to base their productions in Scotland. With our stunning, iconic landscapes, rich culture and heritage and skilled and talented crew, the £45 million production spend total for 2014 demonstrates that producers around the world recognise that Scotland has much to offer.

"These productions generate significant income for Scotland through the use of Scottish talent, crews, locations, transport, accommodation and through the impact they have on tourism.

"The Scottish Government and our agencies are firmly committed to growing the economic impact of our screen sector and continuing to promote Scotland as a premier and competitive location to produce great films and TV shows – as underlined by the £162 million public funding awarded to the sector since 2007/08, during a period of tough budgets.

"But we recognise we need to do more. That is why this week I announced a new £1.75 million production growth fund to provide an additional incentive for major international productions to come to Scotland, as well as increasing funding available for Scottish productions. This builds on the £2 million Tax Credit Advance Facility I announced earlier this year and the £1 million Screen Skills Fund through which we are supporting training and skills development opportunities."

She added:

"Bannan is a major Scottish success story – reaching a bigger audience than any other programme on BBC ALBA since it launched in 2011 and allocating around a fifth of its production costs to training and professional development opportunities for young people.

"Our continuing support for Bannan underlines the Scottish Government's firm commitment to increasing indigenous language programming, which we have made clear to the UK Government we expect to see more of through the BBC Charter renewal process."

Natalie Usher, Director, Screen, Creative Scotland, said:

"The figures announced today demonstrate that Scotland's screen sector already has the talent, crews, facilities and award winning locations to attract major productions, including the much anticipated Sunset Song and Macbeth; The Legend of Barney Thomson, Iona, Sunshine on Leith, Under the Skin and Outlander, and current productions, Tommy's Honour and Moon Dogs.

"Alongside our partners in Government, we are firmly committed to supporting screen sector growth and promoting Scotland as a film-friendly nation with unique landscapes and competitive incentives.

This is why the announcement this week of the £1.75m Production Growth Fund which, in addition to the existing UK Tax Credits, provides a further incentive to base a feature film and High End TV productions in Scotland, is a significant and welcome one."

Chris Young, Producer of Bannan and Managing Director of Young Films said:

"We are now filming the last few episodes of the 18-episode Bannan cycle, and it's amazing to think that we only started filming the pilot two years ago. That's nine hours of TV drama produced in Scotland in two years, which is something I'm very proud of. The support we have received from both Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government has made a huge difference in making this happen.

"In the process of filming Bannan, we have managed to train a whole new home-grown team of new writers, directors, producers, actors and technicians in long-running TV drama.

"I believe Bannan provides a very good model for how we can significantly expand indigenous film and television production and training in Scotland."

Notes to editors

Scottish Production Spend figures by year since 2007:

2007 - £23.0 million

2008 - £28.0 million

2009 - £24.0 million

2010 - £21.5 million

2011 - £29.3 million

2012 - £27.0 million

2013 - £33.6 million

2014 - £45.2 million

These figures are an accumulation of those supplied by the Scottish Locations Network plus information from Creative Scotland's production enquiries database.

Bannan is the first drama series to be commissioned for BBC ALBA. The pilot three episodes were screened in September 2014 and received the highest reach since any programme since BBC ALBA launched on Freeview in 2011 with 62 per cent of the Gaelic audience tuning in to watch the first episode.

From its inception Bannan has focused on providing training and development opportunities at all levels of production and development. Around 20 per cent of the overall production costs can be directly attributed to training and development.

On this shoot, almost 50 per cent of the crew are receiving some form of training or career progression. Almost half of the crew are Gaelic speakers and of those 65 per cent are trainees. 100 per cent of the cast can speak Gaelic.