Scottish HETV & film spending more than doubled in 2021

The Rig

Production spend on Scottish high-end TV (HETV) and film grew by 55% between 2019 and 2021, according to Screen Scotland.

An estimated £617.4m [$781.7m] was spent on the production of film, TV and other audiovisual content in Scotland in 2021, compared to £398.6m in 2019, said a report published today by the Scottish screen industries trade body.

Inward investment HETV and film production spend meanwhile increased by 110%, from £165.3m in 2019 to £347.4m in 2021.

The figures include content made by Scotland-based producers, producers based outside of Scotland filming in Scotland and public service broadcasters commissioned content.

The report, titled ‘The Economic Value of the Screen Sector in Scotland in 2021’, was commissioned by Screen Scotland and produced by Saffrey Champness and Nordicity, and can be read in full here.

It also found that employment in the production sub-sector rose 39% over the period, from 5,120 full time equivalent jobs in 2019 to 7,150 in 2021.The employment impact across Scotland’s entire sector increased at a lower rate, by 5.6%, from 10,280 in 2019 to 10,940 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, the growth was in large part due to sector development work undertaken since Screen Scotland’s formation in 2018, including skills development work and the opening of new or expanded studio facilities, particularly FirstStage Studios in Edinburgh, where Prime Video’s The Rig and Anansi Boys were filmed.

“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,” said Screen Scotland.

In total, the screen sector in Scotland contributed Gross Value Added (GVA) of £627m to Scotland’s economy in 2021, up from £568m in 2019.

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.”

Read Next