Creative Scotland launch Screen Scotland with GBP3 million Broadcast Content Fund after a record year for Scottish production
Screen Scotland, the new dedicated partnership catering to the Scottish production industry sits within Creative Scotland and is tasked with supporting and developing the sector. Backed with GBP20 million from the Scottish Government and the National Lottery, the body takes over at a crucial time for the nation’s industry.
Under the helm of Isabel Davis, former Head of International at the BFI, the body will focus on handling funding for film and television productions, investing in education, skills training and developing infrastructure. Robert Wilson, chair of Creative Scotland said, “I firmly believe that Screen Scotland’s identity offers a clear and distinct brand that will resonate with the sector and our national and international partners”. Davies commented that “it’s time for Scotland’s talented film and TV sectors to fulfil their potential, and to create a highly attractive environment for incoming creative companies and productions”.
The launch was accompanied with an unveiling of a new GBP3 million Broadcast Content Fund which will award Scotland-based companies between GP10,000 – GBP500,000 for distinctive high-quality projects destined for television broadcast, digital broadcast and streaming platforms which promote Scotland’s culture, creativity and diversity to the world. Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop argues that the fund “will invest GBP3 million in our TV sector to provide it with the targeted financial backing it needs to develop”. Screen Scotland will manage a total of six new and improved funds that include the Production Growth Fund and the Film and Development Production Fund. Hyslop contends that the range of funds now “puts Scotland on par with other nations”.
The new initiatives have come into play at an exciting time for the Scottish production industry. The latest figures show that film and TV production spend reached an all-time high of GBP95 million in 2017, an increase of GBP25.5 million on the previous year. The last decade has seen rapid growth with an increased spend of 300% in the country.
Scotland’s growing reputation as a destination for international productions and co-productions has certainly contributed to the sector’s current vitality. In 2017, Avengers: Infinity War spent seven weeks in Edinburgh, during which an estimated GBP10 million was invested into the local economy. Outlander, Amazon’s six season time-travelling romance also returned to shoot in the country having garnered a loyal audience around the world.
Funding from Creative Scotland, which will now be under the direction of Screen Scotland, also managed to attract several major productions. David MacKenzie’s Outlaw King starring Chris Pine which will open Toronto International Film Festival, two BBC dramas The Victim and The Cry and Kristoffer Nyholm’s Keepers starring Gerard Butler, were all in receipt of Creative Scotland’s funding schemes last year.
Film and TV productions that situate themselves in Scotland are also eligible for UK-wide incentives. The UK High-End TV Tax Relief rebate offers foreign and co-productions 25% rebate on projects with a minimum spend of GBP1 million per broadcast hour. The UK Film Tax Relief offers a 25% cash rebate to national and co-productions.
Creative Scotland will be exhibiting at FOCUS the meeting place for international production in London on the 4th & 5th of December. Click here to register your interest in the event so you can find out more about filming in Scotland.
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