Sunday 20 January 2019

Tourism can benefit from Mary Queen Of Scots movie, says minister

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop highlighted the impact the new historical drama could have in Scotland.

The new Mary Queen Of Scots movie is a ‘great opportunity’ for Scottish tourism, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said (PA) (Historic Environment/PA)
The new Mary Queen Of Scots movie is a ‘great opportunity’ for Scottish tourism, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said (PA) (Historic Environment/PA)

By Katrine Bussey, Political Editor, Press Association Scotland

The new Mary Queen Of Scots movie offers a great opportunity for Scotland’s tourism sector, the Culture Secretary has said.

Fiona Hyslop said she is “delighted” the historical drama, which stars Saoirse Ronan as Mary, Queen of Scots and Margot Robbie as her cousin Queen Elizabeth I, is being shown for the first time in Scotland next week.

The film is being screened in Edinburgh on Monday, with Ronan and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon among those expected to attend.

The event takes place just over a month after the movie had its European premiere in London.

Ms Hyslop, who represents Linlithgow where Mary was born, said: “I’m delighted that we’re going to see the premiere of Mary Queen Of Scots in Scotland.

“If I am allowed, as the MSP for Linlithgow, to say that that is a great opportunity not just for the screen and the culture side, but also for the tourism aspect for Scotland.”

Ms Hylsop made the comments while being questioned by MSPs on Holyrood’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee about the budget for 2019-20.

She told them current budget proposals would see cash going to Screen Scotland to support the sector north of the border double to £20 million.

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The film starring Margot Robbie, left, and Saoirse Ronan had its European premiere in London in December (Isabel Infantes/PA)

The minister said the cash injection is part of efforts to double the production spend by film and TV companies in Scotland.

Netflix filmed the historical action movie Outlaw King – which had a reported budget of some 90 million US dollars (£70.6 million) – in Scotland.

Ms Hyslop said the film, which is focused on the life of Robert the Bruce, had had a “very strong” impact.

She said: “Importantly, the amount of spend that had particularly for crew, production etc was very strong indeed.”

Ms Sturgeon has previously hailed Outlaw King as a “brilliant production and great showcase for Scottish film talent”.

She tweeted her congratulations to the cast and crew, with a “special well done” to American actor Chris Pine on a “stunning performance as Bruce (and a great Scottish accent!)”.

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