Screen Scotland praises 'phenomenal' film and HETV production industry growth

A new report credits skills development and opening of studio facilities with increased inward investment.

By Gabriella Geisinger 23 Aug 2023

Screen Scotland praises 'phenomenal' film and HETV production industry growth
Good Omens season 2 filmed in Scotland; Cr: Cian Oba-Smith/Prime Video

Screen Scotland has reported a phenomenal growth in its production sector with spend increasing 55% over two years. 

Screen Scotland’s executive director Isabel Davis said this "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."

The Economic Value of the Screen Sector in Scotland in 2021 report, conducted by Saffery Champness and Nordicity, attributed this growth to development work undertaken since Screen Scotland was establishment in 2018. This included significant skills training and the opening of new studio facilities, such as FirstStage Studios in Edinburgh and the expansions of existing stages like The Pyramids in West Lothian, where Prime Video’s Good Omens 2 was filmed.  

Bob Last, co-owner of FirstStage where Amazon Prime Video’s The Rig and Anansi Boys were shot, said: "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."

Suzanne Reid, a series producer on The Rig, said: “As I progressed in my career the higher-level productions I wanted to work on just didn’t exist in Scotland, in part due to a lack of studio facilities – so I had to head to England and Wales for this type of work.

"It has been wonderful to be working back at home and to be able to work alongside our brilliantly talented Scottish crew on such a highly ambitious series."

An estimated £617.4 million was spent on the production of film, TV and other audiovisual content in Scotland in 2021, compared to £398.6 million in 2019.

The spend includes content made by Scotland-based producers, producers based outside of Scotland filming in Scotland and Public Service Broadcasters (PSBs) commissioned content. 

The report also found inward investment film and HETV production spend increased by 110%, from £165.3 million in 2019 to £347.4 million in 2021.

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