Scots screen sector worth £627m and 11,000 jobs

Screen Scotland has published new figures that show strong growth in the value of Scotland’s film and TV industries to the country’s economy.

The figures estimate the screen sector in Scotland contributed Gross Value Added (GVA) of £627 million to Scotland’s economy in 2021, up from £568 million in 2019.

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

The research showed show employment in Scotland’s screen sector increased 5.6% from 10,280 full time equivalent jobs (FTEs) in 2019 to 10,940 FTEs in 2021.

Commissioned by Screen Scotland and produced by Saffery Champness and Nordicity, the independent report examined “The Economic Value of the Screen Sector in Scotland” in 2021.

The report found that significant growth was found in all areas of production, particularly inward investment film and High-End TV (HETV) production.

The report showed that inward investment film and HETV production spend increased 110% from £165.3 million in 2019 to £347.4 million in 2021.

In total, 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.

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

“The employment impact in Scotland’s production sub-sector rose from 5,120 full time equivalent jobs (FTEs) in 2019 to 7,150 FTEs in 2021, a 39% increase,” said Screen Scotland.

“The employment impact across Scotland’s entire sector increased at a lower rate, by 5.6%, from 10,280 FTEs in 2019 to 10,940 FTEs in 2021 – with the covid impacts in that year on employment in the cinema exhibition and screen tourism accounting for the difference.

“According to the research … growth is in large part due to sector development work undertaken since Screen Scotland’s formation in 2018, including significant skills development work and the opening of new or expanded studio facilities, particularly FirstStage Studios in Edinburgh, where Prime Video’s The Rig (which has returned to Scotland to film series 2) and Anansi Boys were filmed, and the expansion of The Pyramids in West Lothian, home to another Prime Video HETV series, Good Omens 2.

“These studio facilities have made Scotland an even more attractive place to film, opening in time to catch the global post pandemic boom in production.”

Screen Scotland executive director Isabel Davis 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.”