The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Monday, 26 May 2014

Scottish Government support for film and TV sectors

Culture Secretary outlines how independence 
can boost £400 million sector

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop has set out how the additional powers of an independent Scotland could support increased TV and film production and help the economy.

Radio and TV production currently employs 3,200 people and had a turnover of £400 million in 2011. However, Ms Hyslop emphasised that the sector in Ireland employs over 6,000 individuals, with Ireland’s RTÉ national broadcaster alone employing almost 2,000 people, against 1,200 employed by the BBC in Scotland – demonstrating what more could be achieved with full control of financial powers.

In a speech to the Royal Television Society in Glasgow, Ms Hyslop highlighted the Scottish Government’s commitment to not only continue, but to build upon current tax incentives for the industry in an independent Scotland.

Ms Hyslop said: “Our radio and broadcasting sector is a £400 million industry of enormous importance to Scotland and employs 3,200 people – as well as the many self-employed and freelance staff vital to the sector. And in addition to TV and radio, we also know that the film and video sector are enormously valuable. 

“The Scottish Government values the contribution that filmmaking, animation and television production make to Scotland’s rich cultural life, with public sector investment in support for the screen sector, across production, education, training and exhibition, increasing to £21 million in 2012-13.

“We have consistently championed Scotland as a location for international film and TV productions, and we work hard to ensure Scotland is widely recognised for its world-class talent, crews, facilities and breath taking locations. Scottish Ministers are firmly committed to supporting a sustained increase in production.

“Scotland is a creative and dynamic country, and we must be ambitious to do more. Our sector lags behind that of nations comparable in size, such as Ireland and Finland.

“Of course, creating a Scottish Broadcasting Service will do much to address this. But we can and must do much more.

“When you examine the support given in other countries, the potential of Governmental support to encourage the sector is clear. For example, it is telling that in the face of the economic difficulties of the last few years, Ireland has not just maintained but progressively strengthened its support for the sector and continues to do so. In fact, next year it will increase its support still further. 

“We are already taking the action we can to support the industry under present constitutional arrangements – we are currently considering a number of proposals for developing and operating a Scottish film studio. 

“But with the powers of independence we could do much more for this vital industry. Independence would change broadcasting for the better, both for the industry and for the public.”

Scotland’s Radio and TV production sector had a total turnover of £205,600,000 and employed 3,200 people in 2011, with a gross value added per employee of £89,135, the highest for any element of the Scottish Government’s key growth sectors, except for oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and distilling. 

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