Pre-pandemic film and TV production generates £5.6 million


16th November 2020

Annual figures released by FifeScreen & TayScreen show the strength of film and TV production in the region in 2019-20, with £5.6 million of inward investment generated for the region’s economy.

Time-travel romantic drama series Outlander returned, while Golden Globe and Emmy winning drama Succession, starring Dundee’s own Brian Cox, put the focus on key locations V&A Dundee and Gleneagles.

Forensic crime drama Traces by Fife writer Val McDermid brought production to Dundee, with the original setting for the storyline inspired by the University of Dundee.

Perthshire proved a magnet for Porsche and the need for speed brought Top Gear to Fife with both being the height of fashion for shoots by labels like Brown’s and Jil Sander and fashion bible Harper’s Bazaar.

These were just some of the 100 productions that came to the region during the 12 months leading up to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown.
The office recorded a total of 392 filming days at locations across the region, representing a value of £5.6 million to the economy, up 8% on the 2018-19 total of £5million.

Councillor Mark Flynn, Dundee City Council’s convener of city development, said: “This part of the world has many diverse locations, from the globally famous to the unexpectedly appealing.

“Added to this is the appeal, culture and ‘can do’ reception of a region with a thriving creative sector and collaborative spirit.

“These pre-pandemic figures show that the region is hugely attractive to productions, contributing millions to the local economy. And you can’t put a value on the showcasing of Dundee and surrounding areas to huge audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Councillor Altany Craik, Fife Council's Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee Convener, said: “2019/20 was a year of unprecedented success for Fife and the region and we congratulate the screen office and all the council officers and services who go above and beyond to attract production to the region and make sure they have a smooth path while they are here.

"Their work helps bring our locations and hospitality to wide and diverse audiences and it is well known that ‘reel’ experiencing provides a key motivator to experiencing places for real.”

David Littlejohn, Head of Planning and Development at Perth and Kinross Council, said: “The region combines amazing locations and a warm welcome that is highly attractive to productions and which contribute to raising the profile of Perthshire and the wider region for tourism, investment and to help secure jobs.

“At this highly challenging time for everyone and with special challenges for tourism, screen is a vital way to keep promoting places and experiences.”

Coronavirus is creating more challenging conditions as the film and television production sector deal with the implications of lockdown and further restrictions.

The production, culture, creative industries, tourism and hospitality sectors and those who work within these have been hit hard.

FifeScreen & TayScreen manager Julie Craik said: “The figures in our annual report show that the region’s reputation as hugely attractive to production continued to be in excellent shape last year.

“Unfortunately, Covid-19 means it is inevitable that the figures for 2020-21 figures will be impacted. Lockdown during the early part of 2020 saw a pause in production that has had impacts that are being faced by every other sector.

“We have collaborated with the Scottish Locations Network, Screen Scotland, Film Offices UK and Creative England to develop a Covid-19 production code that is being applied across Scotland and the UK.

“I am delighted that we are starting to see signs of recovery and that crew and companies have adapted to new safety measures.

“New production enquiries are now coming in every day so as we see production getting busier again, we are hopeful that the region will be busy for the rest of this year and into 2021.”



Dundee City Council

Dundee draws skilled workers from a 60-minute catchment population of 640,000 and has a local population of over 140,000. The availability of a large pool of highly skilled labour is a key feature in the Dundee economy. Flexibility in the labour force is currently more prevalent in Dundee than in Scotland as a whole. All forms of labour market flexibility - part-time, temporary employment, self-employment and shift work - are widely operational within the city. Labour force stability in the city is excellent, enabling companies to plan with confidence. Labour turnover levels are less than 5% and absenteeism averages 2%.

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