Outlander producers urged government to back Scottish film and tv industry

29 March 2018, 13:57


The producer of hit TV show Outlander has called for Scotland to have the "political will" to build a film and TV industry.

David Brown said a change in outlook is needed to move from being an off-shoot of the London industry and capitalise in the boom in productions needed driven by the streaming.

Giving evidence to Holyrood's Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee, he said: "If you attract more of these shows the knock on effect is incremental."

He added: "Political will is about shifting that gear, changing that perception and saying as a nation and as a country we want to build that industry

"And it's our choice. You can let continue as a kind of a victim industry, that's always got its hands, out, always saying we need more, we need special breaks or you can shift the gear and attract businesses like Outlander.

"If you have two or three Outlanders here, the amount of inward investment is staggering.

"It's not just the building... it's about you in government saying no we want to change it, we want an industry, we don't want to be an off-shoot from London."

Tiernan Kelly, Film City Glasgow director, told the committee he believes there is a case for public sector intervention, pointing to the successful development in Manchester facilitated by the local authority.

Members also heard from Jim O'Donnell, director of development for the company behind the Pentland Studio planned for the outskirts of Edinburgh.

He called for a investment in a film fund staff by people who could take decisions, saying efforts so far had "failed".

He told the committee the target date for completing the sound stage and workshop space at Pentland is the third quarter of 2019, enabling filming to take place.

Office space and a film academy are due to be finished the following year.