Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

As James Bond returns to the big screen, could its production yield an economic boom in the north?

Filming of major productions such as James Bond, Star Wars and Outlander are expected to deliver a boost to the local economy and tourism sector

Daniel Craig, in his curtain closing performance as James Bond, will hit the big screens later this month in the much anticipated No Time to Die.

The blockbuster – delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic – is set to captivate the attention of 007 fans and film fanatics across the globe.

Scenes we have come to be familiar with of the famed British intelligence agent, such as shootouts and dramatic car chases, are sure to keep fans on the edge of their seats.

However, one car chase in particular may feel a bit closer to home.

Scottish Highlands chosen as a filming location for key shot

James Bond No Time to Die filmed in the Scottish Highlands in 2019, cast and crew descended on Laggan as dramatic shots of a Range Rover careering off a dirt track before being propelled high into the air were filmed for the latest title.

With other notable productions hitting the north of Scotland in recent months, just how much of an impact could their visit return for the local economy and tourism in the months to come?

Tony Mackay is a leading economist based in Inverness.

Can productions like James Bond No Time to Die help boost the Highland economy?

He estimates that the draw of 007, along with recent productions of Star Wars and Outlander at Cruachan in Argyll, could help attract new visitors to Scotland.

Mr Mackay has said the productions “certainly can have big impacts” with an estimate between 5% and 10%.

Daniel Craig as James Bond
Daniel Craig will bring the curtain down on his reign as Bond in the latest picture. He has served as the MI6 spy since 2006, where he first appeared in Casino Royale

Mr Mackay said: “It is very difficult to generalise because of the variety of films.

“However, they certainly can have big impacts.

“On average, I believe those impacts could be in the 5%-10% range.

“Visit Scotland estimated that tourism expenditure in the Highlands in 2019 was just under £1.6 billion.

“A 5%-10% increase in that would be an additional £80-£160 million.  That would be particularly beneficial in local areas such as Argyll where some of the Outlander and Star Wars films were made.”

Scottish economist Tony Mackay
Highland based economist Tony Mackay

Mr Mackay previously anticipated that the Scottish Highland economy would take more than two years to get back to pre-pandemic levels.

He estimates that the economic output of the Highlands, measured by gross domestic product (GDP), fell by 12.5% in 2020.

A rise of 6% is expected for 2021 with a slightly smaller rise of 5.2% in 2022.

The combination is still some 1.3% lower than 2020 levels, however, delivers some optimism for businesses and the wider Scottish economy.

He added: “The local tourism and hospitality industry has suffered seriously from the Covid-19 pandemic so it will undoubtedly be 2022 before some visitors return to the Highlands.”

Filming impact is felt ‘long after productions are broadcast’

Chris Taylor, VisitScotland’s regional leadership director, said: “We know the impact of screen tourism is felt long after productions are broadcast.

“We estimate that around one in five visitors are motivated to come to Scotland after seeing it on-screen and in these days of on-demand and multi-channel content, there are even greater opportunities for programmes to reach an audience and offer further inspiration.

“The unique heritage and stunning landscapes and scenery of the Highlands, which are huge drivers for visitors, are the same things that entice productions to Scotland.”

Mr Taylor said production of series such as Outlander has been a “huge success story” in attracting visitors.

The tourism chief said this brings “fantastic economic benefit for the local area”.

Both Outlander and Star Wars are believed to have been filmed in Argyll in recent months

Hollywood productions are ‘transforming’ Scottish film and TV industry’s prospects

Isabel Davis, executive director at Screen Scotland, celebrated welcoming major film and television studio productions to the country.

She said: “Scotland has an unparalleled range of landscapes for location filming, from the scenic glens featured in No Time to Die to the cityscapes of Aberdeen and Glasgow, which can also double for any number of cities around the world.

“The gamechanger has been the recent increase in studio facilities across the country, which has anchored more large-scale productions in Scotland.

“Major projects such as Tetris, The Rig and Good Omens, in tandem with the long-standing impact of Outlander, are transforming our industry’s prospects, contributing to Scotland’s economic recovery through the creation of jobs, use of facilities and businesses and enabling sustainable, rewarding careers.

“Screen Scotland will continue to support the growth of infrastructure and crew, the development of locally originated film and TV content and to attract internationally financed production to Scotland.”

Cruachan Dam, Argyle and Bute, was a filming location for a new Star Wars production
The new Star Wars TV series was spotted being filmed at Cruachan Dam.