Film office for Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders

Filming in the Edinburgh region brings £4.6m to the local economy

01/02/15

Film Edinburgh, the local Film Commission for Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders, has reported a solid rise in the number of film enquires and productions filming in and around the Capital during 2014. As a result, the economic impact for the region has increased to £4.6million, a 53% rise on 2013 figures.

Last year, Film Edinburgh dealt with a total of 542 film and TV enquiries, resulting in 361 productions filming in the Edinburgh city region. With 70 more filming days taking place compared to the previous year, it also marks a six per cent rise in the number of completed projects in Edinburgh region.

High-value production highlights in 2014 included the BBC drama Murder by Birger Larsen which filmed in Edinburgh for four months, CBBC/HBO’s Eve and Plum Films’ Teacup Travels for CBeebies. International hit, Outlander also undertook 19 days of filming in the Edinburgh region in 2014, while factual programmes included Landward, Come Dine with Me, Great Scots and Shopgirls.

Not included within the overall Film Edinburgh annual statistic analysis, the Scottish Independence Referendum in September also proved a successful, additional opportunity to showcase Edinburgh on the international stage. The ‘This is Edinburgh’ Media Centre, jointly run by Marketing Edinburgh, Film Edinburgh and the City of Edinburgh Council, at the Apex International, hosted over 400 journalists from 43 countries, resulting in over 150 live television broadcasts as well as print, digital and radio coverage in the immediate run up to the vote.

2014 also saw Film Edinburgh publish an update to its original Edinburgh Film Charter. The refreshed framework simplified procedures, clarifying processes to ensure all film enquiries are dealt with as efficiently as possible.

Rosie Ellison, Film Manager for Film Edinburgh said: “On average, we had around three productions filming every day in the Edinburgh region last year. This equates to over 70 additional filming days compared to 2013. Feedback on the practical support and simplified procedures following the publication of our new Film Charter has been overwhelmingly positive and we’re delighted that the message that Edinburgh is a ‘film-friendly’ city is being taken on board by production companies.

“A planning consultation is currently underway for a potential £140m film studio complex just outside Edinburgh. It goes without saying that if this comes to fruition it will have a significant impact, increasing the number of large scale, high value productions that can base here, bringing employment and investment to the area.”

Cllr Frank Ross, Convener of the Economy Committee, said: “While it is incredibly rewarding to see the economic impact of film production in and around Edinburgh rise by 53% on 2013, almost more important are the audiences that these film and TV productions reach out to. Visit Britain has calculated 40% of visitors to the UK come here to visit locations they have seen on screen. The more we can do to showcase our stunning city on film and bring new visitors to the city the better. This report also shows the importance of securing the proposed film studio in Midlothian for the benefit of the City Region and Scotland.”

In 2014, Film Edinburgh worked with VisitScotland and East Lothian respectively to create two new film location maps of the city to help visitors to both areas identify the settings of their favourite movie moments. Over 30,000 maps were distributed via hotels, tourist attractions, visitor centres and cinemas in the regions.