Film industry provides economic boost to Argyll and Bute

Two high profile feature films have helped rake in £1.35million to Argyll and Bute.

Two high profile feature films have helped rake in £1.35million to Argyll and Bute.

The estimated local production spend of £1,354,434 is detailed in papers to go before Argyll and Bute Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee on Thursday.

Other main contributors to the total include The Country Council TV series and a Netflix series.

From January 2017 to January 2018 the council received 115 inquiries and there have been 48 productions filmed during the year.

The estimated local production spend has more than doubled 2016’s figure of £523,850.

The feature films to be released this summer, which have not yet been named, involved a total cast and crew of approximately 105 in the Helensburgh and Lomond area.

Filming on Islay for two commercials for Johnnie Walker and Ardbeg whisky consisted of a total of 49 cast and crew stay for six days.

One confidential series, thought to be a potential Netflix favourite, choose Loch Lomond as a location with 21 days of preparation and filming taking place. The budget is estimated to be at £86M. The first episodes are due to be released in November.

The BBC and ITV both visited Argyll last year, bringing around 50 cast and crew members between them. The Loch, a new drama, was filmed at Blairvadach for nine days and was shown on ITV in July last year.

The Replacement, a BBC thriller, was filmed around the Loch Lomond area for two days.

It was a popular year for car commercials, with Peugeot and Ford brands visiting Argyll. Peugeot chose the Isle of Mull and Staffa as its backdrop while Ford filmed at Crinan Harbour and The Rest and Be Thankful.

Councillors are invited to note the positive economic impact the screen industry has had on the area.

Officers write: “The screen industries have the potential to not only bring production spend to the local economy but to be a catalyst for the growth of the tourism industry in Argyll and Bute based on Argyll and Bute film productions.”

The report continues: “Over the last year we have been working hard to improve the service to the industry to maximise the economic benefit to the area and increase the awareness of what we can offer.

“Core to our service is providing confidential advice and support as a ‘one stop shop’ to the industry through a single point of contact within the economic development section.”

This support includes liaising with other council departments for road closures and access to land or property such as car parks and assistance with local knowledge queries.