Friday 18 August 2017

Trainspotting sequel helped Edinburgh filming value reach £7.7m record high

Actor Jonny Lee Miller during the filming of a scene from Trainspotting 2
Actor Jonny Lee Miller during the filming of a scene from Trainspotting 2

Shooting for the new Trainspotting sequel in Edinburgh helped lift the value of film and TV productions to the capital to a new high, figures show.

Latest numbers from the city's film office - Film Edinburgh - reveal the screen industry injected £7.7 million into the local economy last year.

The figure was boosted by filming for T2 Trainspotting, which took place over three months in the capital in the spring of 2016.

The long-awaited follow-up to director Danny Boyle's 1996 classic goes on general UK release on Friday.

Film Edinburgh manager Rosie Ellison described the overall total as "terrific" and said it represents the most successful year in the local film commission's 26-year history.

She said: "It's more than we've ever had. In 2015 it was £6.9 million and that was the highest-ever. It's going up and up, and long may that last."

Filming for the Trainspotting sequel took place in more than 50 locations across Edinburgh and the Lothians, ranging from Arthur's Seat, the Forth Bridge and Princes Street to Leith and Craigmillar.

Boyle said: "The good will from local individuals and organisations towards the production made it an absolute pleasure to be back filming in the city."

The specific economic impact of individual shoots is confidential and has not been disclosed.

The overall figures mean 2016 is up by 11.5% when compared to the previous year, which saw filming across the city for time-travel drama Outlander.

The £7.7 million is described as "direct spend" from film productions working in the city and the wider region, which includes East Lothian and the Scottish Borders.

It takes into account money spent on accommodation, crew fees, kit hire, catering, location fees, support services and permits.

Since it does not include additional spending that is not a core part of production - such as cash spent by crews in bars and restaurants - the total economic impact is thought to be greater than the total officially recorded.

About 83% of the economic impact came from around 10 high-value feature films and TV dramas.

Other productions that helped 2016 to a record-breaking year for the region included BBC Three's university drama, Clique, due to broadcast in spring, and feature film Churchill, starring Brian Cox and Miranda Richardson.

Overall, 321 productions - including factual programmes and commercials - were shot in the city in 2016 and added to the final total.

Ms Ellison said: "These are just as valuable to the city and we work just as hard to support that level of production as we do the high-end production, albeit over a much shorter period of time."

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