Screen Scotland reports huge rise in production spend

Screen Scotland reports huge rise in production spend

The RigScreen Scotland has today (23 August) published a new report detailing a 110% increase in inward film and HETV production spend in Scotland in 2021. 

Commissioned by Screen Scotland and produced by Saffery Champness and Nordicity, the independent report which looks at The Economic Value of the Screen Sector in Scotland in 2021 found that significant growth was found in all areas of production. 

The massive hike in inward investment film and HETV production spend was from £165.3m in 2019 to £347.4m in 2021. In total, an estimated £617.4m was spent on the production of film, TV and other audiovisual content in Scotland in 2021, including content made by Scotland-based producers, up 55% compared to 2019. 

According to the research, the growth is down to several factors, not least sector development work and new or expanded studio facilities, with Edinburgh’s FirstStage Studios hosting Prime Video’s The Rig and Anansi Boys and the expanded Pyramids in West Lothian housing Good Omens 2. 

In total, the screen sector in Scotland contributed Gross Value Added (GVA) of £627 million to Scotland’s economy in 2021, providing 10,930 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs, up from £568 million and 10,940 FTEs in 2019. 

Screen Scotland reportNeil Gray MSP, David Smith (Screen Scotland), Isabel Davis (Screen Scotland), Daisy Mount (Prime Video/Amazon Studios)

Isabel Davis, Screen Scotland’s executive director, said: “The growth in all forms of production in Scotland between 2019 and 2021 is a phenomenal result. It shows us that public investment via Screen Scotland in infrastructure, development, production and skills development, combined with attractive levels of production incentive are the catalyst for a successful industry.  

“Now is the time to build on these newly created jobs and growth with a sustained funding commitment towards skills development, attraction of large-scale productions and a focus on the development of locally originated film and television. Screen Scotland is committed to delivering further growth, working hand in hand with the commercial production and studio sectors. This will rely upon sustained funding and support in order for Scotland to seize the opportunities ahead of it and see that growth trajectory continue.” 

Bob Last, whose FirstStage Studios in Leith has housed Prime Video’s Anansi Boys and The Rig, and where the second series of The Rig is currently filming, added: “We at FirstStage Studios are excited to have created a facility that helps our customers and their creatives realise ambitious visions for audiences both local and global.  

“We are pleased to have rapidly built relationships with, in particular Amazon Prime Video, enabling us to play a part in anchoring more of this global industry and its varied employment opportunities in Scotland and Leith. We thank all those who have chosen to make our facility their creative home and especially the crews whose hard work we witness daily, every one of them is a part of the good news today’s Screen Scotland report outlines.” 

Productions shooting in studios and on location in Scotland in 2021 included: Disney+ Star Wars series Andor, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, DC’s The Flash, Netflix’s Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star, The Lost King starring Sally Hawkins and Steve Coogan, Prime Video’s series The Rig, Apple Original film Tetris produced by Glasgow-based Sigma Films, Annika, Peaky Blinders which shot on location in Aberdeenshire, Channel 4 prison drama Screw, Irvine Welsh’s Crime starring Dougray Scott, Guilt 2 starring Mark Bonnar and Jamie Sives, female detective drama Karen Pirie and ambulance call centre drama The Control Room.  

Pictured: Neil Gray MSP, David Smith (Screen Scotland), Isabel Davis (Screen Scotland) and Daisy Mount (Prime Video and Amazon Studios). Image credit: Screen Scotland and Julie Howden. 

The Rig image credit: Amazon Prime

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