Today I have called for the Scottish Government to clarify what plans it has for a new film and TV studio to ensure that the Scottish film industry is not left behind its UK counterparts. I have made the calls following news that Screen Yorkshire has announced its new plans for film studio outside Leeds.
Scotland has the skills, talent and scenery to be at the forefront of the film industry, not just here in Britain but across Europe and the world. However without a dedicated national film and TV studio it faces being left behind.
Recently the Scottish Parliament’s Economy Energy and Tourism Committee published a report on the economic impact of Scotland’s creative industries (including the film and TV industry). They found that
“The evidence received by the Committee suggests that the lack of large-scale studio space is detrimental to Scotland‘s ability to attract big budget productions, other than location shooting, and therefore the most pressing industry requirement is for a film and TV studio based in Scotland.”
The plans for a new studio in Yorkshire is further competition for Scotland at a time when we are already missing out on productions such as Game of Thrones and Generation Z. The lack of infrastructure has been identified as a key reason for this. The Committee report also highlighted that
“major productions simply cannot choose Scotland as a place to shoot for any more than a few days of essential location filming‖ and that, out of the value of the film industry to the UK of £1 billion, location filming in Scotland provides only £30 million.”
The Scottish film industry deserves greater support from the Scottish Government and firm progress on a film and TV studio is vital. However, whilst the Scottish Government dithers, Screen Yorkshire is already showing productions around. The Scottish Government must now clarify its plans and be open and honest about the future of a film and TV studio.
The details of Screen Yorkshire’s plans for a film studio can be read here.
The Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee report on the economic impact of the creative industries in Scotland can be found here.
On film and TV the committee recommended that
“The Committee urges Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government to reach a decision on the current private sector proposal for the development of a film and TV studio as soon as possible. However, given the urgent need for a studio, should the new proposal be unsuccessful, the Committee recommends that the Scottish Government evaluates as a matter of urgency what further support or incentives it could provide to stimulate interest and investment from the private sector.”