Film and TV production contributes £15m to Glasgow economy

Benedict Cumberbatch filming in Glasgow city centre in November 2017.' Picture: John Devlin/TSPL
Benedict Cumberbatch filming in Glasgow city centre in November 2017.' Picture: John Devlin/TSPL
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Film and television productions shot in Glasgow brought £15.13 million to the city’s economy in 2017, a drop of £1m from the previous year.

Sky Atlantic’s Patrick Melrose, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and the forthcoming Netflix film Outlaw King, were among the big budget shows to use the city as backdrops in previous 12 months.

The total recorded in 2016 by the Glasgow Film Office (GFO), part of Glasgow City Council, was £16.38 million, but the 2017 figure represents an increase of more than £5m from 2010.

Maximising economic benefit from film and television production north of the Border is a priority for the Scottish Government.

Last year a consultation by Creative Scotland found a new collaborative approach could double the value of the sector in five years.

Ministers announced in 2016 an ambition to open such a unit to offer more support for the country’s TV and film industry and to better coordinate public sector investment.

READ MORE: Screen unit aims to double the value of film production in Scotland

Creative Scotland added that to meet the sector’s growth target, “a major transition” was also required in business capacity. Scotland currently has just two of 53 production companies across the UK with an annual turnover of more than £10m.

Firms of this size currently secure more than 80 per cent of primary industry commissions.

Glasgow has welcomed a series of big budget films in recent years, including T2: Trainspotting and World War Z.

But smaller productions - such as short films, commericals, and corporate vides - also help boost the local economy, said the GFO, which was set up by the city council in 1997 to work with industry and secure new productions in the city.

Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken said: “I am delighted to say that 2017 was another successful year for Glasgow in this sector.

“This success brought yet more stardust to the city, with famous faces such as Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Pine, Julie Walters and Karen Gillan filming here last year. The Glasgow Film Office has been a real trailblazer in terms of attracting all types of productions to Glasgow aand we can all look forward to the city featuring on our screens in the coming years.”