opinion column uk

Open letter to the Scottish film industry on Independence

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There has been much debate about the Scottish referendum but relatively little has been said about the future of the Scottish film industry, or the creative arts as a whole.

With over 65000 people employed in the creative sector, Scotland is currently experiencing a cultural boom thanks to a combination of funding sources, UK film tax credits and increased inward investment from foreign productions.

Scotland has been an attractive place for the arts with local productions to big Hollywood blockbusters being filmed in its many diverse locations and cities.

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Films such as ‘Skyfall’ and ‘World War Z’ have brought significant rewards for Scottish workers and creative talents. With the recent Zombie invasion of Glasgow, film producers have not been ‘afraid’ to invest significant budgets in Scotland to make their films come to light and more productions are on the way.

We also can’t forget the many successful film festivals that take place every year in Scotland celebrating the cultural diversity and exceptional work produced by local and international talent, backed up by UK grants.

There are many things to be proud of and with annual Lottery funding expected to reach £30m by 2017 for the whole of the UK, support for the creative industries is set to continue.

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Scotland plays a vital role in the UK film industry with a big talent pool of actors, directors, producers, writers, editors, journalists and much more. It’s a hugely successful industry that is worth almost £3 billion to the local economy.

With tomorrow’s historic referendum, Scotland has a clear choice to make about voting on whether to stay, or to leave the UK.

The UK as it stands today is one of the most attractive destinations for film productions in the world rivalling Hollywood, Canada and mainland Europe.

Skyfall-scotland

Thanks to the cultural diversity and opportunity across the UK there is an interconnected community of creative professionals who have complete freedom to work in any region without borders or barriers to entry.

A Glaswegian can go and work in England on a film or TV production, just as an Englishman can head to Edinburgh to do the same.

As far as we know it there is no concrete investment plan, tax incentive program or any clear vision about the future of Scotland’s creative industries outside of the UK. This is what is at stake for many creative professionals and young people aspiring to work in TV or the Film Industry.

For those who are looking to work in the creative space, consider carefully how your vote will affect the future of the Scottish industry and what you could be leaving behind.

We’ve come a long way, and there is so much more for us to share. We can be the force for positive change in our industry, so please stay with us, and let’s make the UK one of the best places in the world for the creative arts.

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