Hollywood Boosts Scottish Economy

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Around £200 million has been generated by the film industry in Scotland over the last decade.

In the past 12 months alone, the country has seen Hollywood A-listers such as Brad Pitt, Halle Berry and Scarlett Johansson descend upon its towns and cities to shoot likely box office hits of the future.

Glasgow's George Square was transformed into a replica of Philadelphia when Pitt visited the city in August to film scenes of the post-apocalypse zombie movie World War Z.

The production brought with it a cast and crew of about 1,200 people and an open casting was held a month before to recruit local people to be zombie extras. Producer Jeremy Kleiner said at the time that filming had been "very successful" and thanked Glaswegians for being "incredibly welcoming".

Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council, said the film and broadcast industry has contributed more than £150 million to the city's economy in the last 10 years.

He said: "The fantastic work of what the council's Glasgow Film Office can do to attract some of the biggest movie productions around was highlighted by the transformation of Glasgow city centre into Philadelphia for the filming of World War Z in August. This was a memorable time for everyone coming into the centre, and Brad Pitt was followed into Glasgow by other Hollywood stars, including Halle Berry and Scarlett Johansson.

"The filming of a number of major movies in the latter half of the year brought a multimillion economic boost to the city and showcased not only Glasgow as a destination, but highlighted what we can do to support our film industry."

Ros Davis, from Film Focus at Marketing Edinburgh, said that as a result, more than £30 million has been spent in the city. She said: "We work 'behind the scenes' with producers and directors from all over the world, and it's a great feeling to be able to showcase Edinburgh as the truly wonderful city that it is. 2011 has been a really exciting year, with some major productions filmed that will grace our screens in the not too distant future. Next year promises to be equally as eventful and we look forward to welcoming some great talent to Scotland's capital."

A spokeswoman for Creative Scotland, which works to attract filming from the rest of the UK, Europe and the US, said production companies spend £20-£25 million in Scotland every year.

She said: "Scotland is rapidly developing facilities and services, such as the proposed new studio centre near Pacific Quay, which will attract bigger productions to film in Scotland. Creative Scotland backs talent based in Scotland and has recently invested in a number of films, including NEDs, Perfect Sense, You Instead and The Eagle. Attracting large-scale films such as World War Z, Under The Skin and Cloud Atlas not only shows the credibility of our production crew, it also boosts our economy."