Expert film industry panel announced

Written by Scott Campbell, Cumbernauld Media's Senior Reporter.

Published at 15:51 on 29 May 2015

Scottish Government    Film studio

The Scottish Government say that the panel will help them better understand industry needs. Picture: Scott Campbell for Cumbernauld Media.

IT HAS been announced today that the Scottish Government will pull together a panel of film industry experts, in a bid to strengthen the ties between government agencies and the film industry, as proposals for a national film studio continue to be evaluated.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop made the announcement earlier today (29th May), amongst mounting curiosity as to whether Cumbernauld could soon become home to a new Scottish film studio.

As part of the new expert industry panel, Ms Hyslop confirmed that film industry leaders will be invited to give their views on current government policy, and support the Scottish Government as well as its creative and enterprise agencies so that they can better understand and respond to the needs of the growing sector.

The establishment of the panel follows a recommendation from the inquiry by the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee into the economic impact of the creative industries in Scotland.

"This inquiry provided a valuable opportunity to look in depth at our creative industries – a sector worth more than £5 billion to Scotland, which employs more people than the oil and gas industry and has a higher GVA than the life sciences sector,” Fiona Hyslop explained.

The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs confirmed that a review of Scotland’s animation and video games sectors will also be undertaken, with the latter being looked into as part of the development of a strategic approach for the wider digital media industry.

Ms Hyslop added: “We are determined to maximise the economic, social and cultural benefits our creative industries can deliver.

"For example, we have boosted public sector investment in the screen sector from £16.2 million in 2007/08 to more than £21 million in 2013-14. We built on this with our new £2m Tax Credit Loan Fund and £1m Screen Sector Skills Fund and through our continuing work to secure enhanced studio infrastructure for Scotland.

"The measures we are announcing today will help us to better understand and respond to the needs of the creative industries in Scotland and ensure the government and its agencies are working more effectively and collaboratively for their benefit.”

Outside of the newly established panel, Creative Scotland and Scottish Enterprise have announced that they will work more closely, and ensure that their roles and remits are better understood by the sector. 

“Working with other partner agencies through SCIP, by August 2015 Creative Scotland and Scottish Enterprise will produce a Memorandum of Understanding to clarify respective roles and support effective joint working,” Ms Hyslop confirmed. 

Today’s announcement comes one week after Cumbernauld Media reported that a verdict is expected soon on where a proposed Scottish film studio should be based.

Last week we reported that a decision on the matter is imminent, and that details of what proposal will be taken forward will be released “within weeks”, according to one industry source.

Today’s statement by the Culture Secretary confirmed that the “due diligence process” on proposals to see a film studio in Cumbernauld had been “completed”, with the Film Studio Delivery Group, consisting Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government now “working hard to conclude the negotiations which are now taking place.”