Earlier this year, our Broadcast Network article “Supporting Scottish Success” profiled the different ways that Sargent-Disc, a Cast & Crew company, has backed the growth of Scotland’s film and TV production industry, from providing specialist services to Scottish productions, to sponsoring the annual Edinburgh TV Awards.

As the UK industry readied itself for the 2023 Edinburgh TV Festival and Awards (sponsored by Cast & Crew) in August, new figures were released by Screen Scotland that confirmed the continuation of an upward trend of success for Scotland’s screen sector in 2021.

Commissioned by Screen Scotland and produced by Saffery Champness and Nordicity, ‘The Economic Value of the Screen Sector in Scotland in 2021’ report recorded significant growth in all areas of production, compared to the preceding study in 2019.

Inward investment film and HETV production spend was found to have increased by 110%, from £165.3 million in 2019 to £347.4 million in 2021. An estimated £617.4 million was spent on the production of film, TV and other audiovisual content in Scotland in 2021, a 55% increase on the £398.6 million spent in 2019. Employment in Scotland’s production sector also rose by 39% to 7,150 FTE jobs, a higher rise than the overall employment increase recorded across Scotland (5.6%).

Over 80% of the net increase in production spending between 2019 & 2021 (£218.8m) was due to the tremendous growth in inward film and HETV production. It more than doubled from £165.3m to £347.4m, as Scotland attracted the filming of several big budget films including Batgirl, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, and HETV shows like The Rig, Good Omens, and Anansi Boys.

Announcing the good news, Isabel Davis, Screen Scotland’s Executive Director said: “The growth in all forms of production in Scotland between 2019 and 2021 is a phenomenal result. It shows us that public investment via Screen Scotland in infrastructure, development, production and skills development, combined with attractive levels of production incentive are the catalyst for a successful industry.”

“We really welcome the publication of Screen Scotland’s latest study, which confirms what we’ve been hearing from our Scottish clients in recent years,” says Dr Laurence Sargent, Sargent-Disc director and co-head of international at Cast & Crew. “They have witnessed first-hand the marked uptick in titles moving into production across the Nation.

“The official figures are impressive – inward investment has doubled, overall production spend is up by more than a half, employment is up by almost 40%.

“It’s clear that new studios, facility expansions and skills investment are paving the way for a more robust Scottish industry with a thriving independent sector. We look forward to building on our existing relationships in Scotland and working with more Scottish productions in the future.”

Recent Scottish shows Sargent Disc has provided services to include Buccaneer Media’s gritty ITVX thriller Crime starring Dougray Scott adapted by Irvine Welsh, and Sky Cinema thriller Dead Shot starring Colin Morgan and Felicity Jones.

Sargent-Disc also provided payroll services on all seven series of Outlander for producer Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television.

According to the research, growth is in large part due to sector development since Screen Scotland was formed in 2018, including significant skills development work and the opening of new or

expanded studios. These include Edinburgh’s First Stage Studios where Prime Video’s The Rig (now filming series 2) and Anansi Boys were filmed, and the expansion of The Pyramids in West Lothian, home to Good Omens series 2 (Prime Video), released earlier this year.

If you work in Scottish production and would like to know more about Sargent-Disc’s products and services, contact us now.

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