Leader: '˜Time to sell Edinburgh as a movie star'

NEWS that the new Avengers film is set to be shot in the Capital is another welcome boost to the city today.

Monday, 9th January 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:01 pm
Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man/Tony Stark in the film, "Avengers: Age Of Ultron." Picture; AP

Infinity War, costing £400 million, is to be shot across Scotland from next month starring movie legends like Robert Downey Jr and Samuel L Jackson.

Whether you are bought-in to the superhero franchise or not, this kind of exposure can surely only be a positive thing for the Capital.

Coupled with the soon-to-be released T2 Trainspotting, it should ensure that Edinburgh is firmly on the movie map once again in 2017.

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That’s the sort of worldwide publicity which money can’t buy.

Film-related tourism is a major growth area and one which can help the sector as it faces up to the impact of the Brexit vote.

As we have already seen with the likes of Outlander, the potential to cash in on big and small screen hits is certainly there, especially from the US market.

Recent figures show film production is worth around £6.6 million to the Lothians while there are plans for a purpose-built £150m studio to further develop the industry.

That remains contentious in its current proposed location but the case for such a facility in or around the city looks compelling.

It would provide much-needed facilities for companies to base their entire production in the region, not just their location shoots.

The associated economic impact of that could be of blockbuster proportions.

As we have seen from previous years, the demand already exists and is steadily growing - from Hollywood to Bollywood and everything in between.

Living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, we already have a ready made film set, providing a stunning backdrop to any picture.

It is time for us to really take advantage of the fact and start selling the city as a major movie star.