Indiana Jones & Star Wars Help Double Film & TV Spend In Scotland

Production spend in the Scottish high-end TV (HETV) and film industries hit £617.4 million in 2021, an increase of 55% compared to 2019’s £398.6 million, according to statistics released today by Screen Scotland. 

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

Screen Scotland said over 80% of the net increase in production spending between 2019 and 2021 (£218.8m) was due to “the tremendous growth” in inward film and HETV production. Overall, inward film investment and HETV production spend increased by 110%, from £165.3 million in 2019 to £347.4 million in 2021. Across this period, Scotland was home to several big-budget films, including Batgirl, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny and HETV shows like The Rig, Good Omens, and Anansi Boys.  PSB-commissioned content increased from £196.6 million to £223.3 million over the same period.

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In total, the screen sector in Scotland contributed a 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. 

The report, which has been released on the last day of the Edinburgh Film Festival, credits Screen Scotland’s formation in 2018 alongside the opening of new and expanded studio facilities, particularly FirstStage Studios in Edinburgh, where Prime Video’s The Rig and Anansi Boys were shot, and the expansion of The Pyramids in West Lothian, home to Good Omens 2, for the increase. 

Other productions that were shot in studios and on location in Scotland in 2021 included Disney+ Star Wars series Andor, DC’s The Flash, Netflix’s Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star, The Lost King starring Sally Hawkins and Steve Coogan, and Peaky Blinders, which shot on location in Aberdeenshire.  

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

Davis added: “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.”

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