Scottish film and TV industry's exponential growth is cause for celebration – Angus Robertson
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Just over ten years ago, I was lucky to attend the promotional event for Disney Pixar’s Scottish animation blockbuster, Brave. Nearly a decade later the Great Hall of Edinburgh Castle hosted Saoirse Ronan and the other stars of the film Mary Queen of Scots for a gala evening, which even featured the Irish actress and former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon taking turns on the drums accompanying the piping entertainment.
In recent days, I joined a gathering of film and TV industry figures from home and abroad in Edinburgh Castle which celebrated the exponential growth in the screen sector, which now has an annual value of £567 million and provides 10,280 full-time equivalent jobs. This owes much to the trailblazing impact of Outlander and the major growth of studios across Scotland.
The screen sector value chain includes film and TV development and production, animation, VFX and post-production, film and TV distribution, TV broadcast, film exhibition – and extends into the supply chains that provide services at each stage of the content process, including facilities, equipment, transport, catering and accommodation. Beyond that direct supply chain, the screen sector stimulates economic activity elsewhere in the Scottish economy: screen tourism, the education and training sectors, and infrastructure.
If the positive trend continues, Scotland can expect more screen projects, more studio facilities, more jobs and more investment.
Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary