Choose Edinburgh: Record-breaking year for filming in the Capital

Cllr Barrie has welcomed most successful year for Edinburgh on screen.

Film Edinburgh, the local Film Commission for Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders, has reported the most successful year for film in the Edinburgh city region since launching over two decades ago. Filming production in 2016 brought a record economic impact to the Edinburgh region with £7.7 million injected into the local economy marking an 11.5% rise on 2015 figures.

T2 Arthurs Seat   Sony image   cropped

(Image courtesy of Sony)

Edinburgh welcomed several major productions to its streets, fields and coastline last year including the highly-anticipated T2 Trainspotting which goes on general UK release on Friday 27 January 2017.  T2 filming covered over 50 locations across Edinburgh and the Lothians, ranging from Arthur’s Seat and Princes Street to Leith and Craigmillar, during its three months of filming during last spring. 

Other productions that helped 2016 to a record-breaking year for the region included BBC Three’s highly anticipated university drama, Clique, due to broadcast spring 2017; feature film Churchill directed by Jonathan Teplitzky (returning to the city after The Railway Man), starring Brian Cox, Miranda Richardson and John Slattery; and season two of the UK’s number one children’s programme Teacup Travels, all of which chose to base their productions in the city region.

In addition, the worldwide television period hit, Outlander filmed in a number of locations across the region, as did Bollywood feature film Tum Bin 2 and The Wife starring Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce.

In addition to drama, Edinburgh, the Lothians and Scottish Borders featured in 113 factual TV programmes including Landward, Countryfile, Hunted, Grand Designs House of the Year, Secrets of Great British Castles and The River.  High–profile commercials included a new Co-Op advert, that will trail in front of T2 in cinemas, and two adverts for Ganten Water, capturing the romantic side of Edinburgh and broadcast across China in 2017.

In total, there were 937 days of filming in 2016, equating to 2.5 productions every single day. This covered 321 productions filmed throughout the year, which while being marginally down (9%) on 2015 figures, was countered by a 9% increase from 497 production enquiries in 2015 to 544 in 2016.

Economy Convener Cllr Gavin Barrie welcomed the news. He said: “Edinburgh is now well and truly on the map for movie-makers. Our cobbled streets, historic properties and beautiful green spaces set the scene for hundreds of films and television productions every year. We were one of the first cities in the UK to adopt a Film Charter and it is great to see the city increasingly recognised as ‘film friendly’ and for our economy to reap the rewards. Recent major production filming for T2 and Outlander help to create ‘location tourism’ and the more we can do to showcase our stunning city on film and bring new visitors to the city the better.”

Rosie Ellison, Film Manager for Film Edinburgh said: “Having started working with the T2 production team in October 2015, we knew 2016 was going to be a big year for filming in Edinburgh but the results are simply inspiring. The stature and calibre of productions that are now using the Edinburgh city region as their backdrop is having a positive impact on filming and led to us celebrating a record-breaking year for filming productions. 

“The massive jump in economic value for the Edinburgh region is a direct result of productions choosing to base their productions in the region, rather than simply using Edinburgh as a short-term location backdrop.”

“Each year, the film offering in Edinburgh strengthens with more productions appreciating the extent of what the city can offer as a diverse filming location – beautiful scenery is only the start of it. The next step to secure our future development and success would be the investment in Edinburgh film studio facilities. This remains critical in strengthening the city’s filming offering and reputation as a film friendly city, allowing more companies to choose Edinburgh as a filming base.”

Danny Boyle Director of T2 Trainspotting added: “From the first stages of pre-production, Film Edinburgh was on hand to support and advise our locations team, working closely with us to facilitate filming with the Council and local community.  The good will from local individuals and organisations towards the production made it an absolute pleasure to be back filming in the city.  Thank you to the Film Edinburgh team for having our back.” 

Part of Marketing Edinburgh, the organisation dedicated to promoting the city locally, nationally and internationally as a world-class destination to visit, invest, live, work and study; Film Edinburgh facilitates all filming requests of every scale in the city, East Lothian and Scottish Borders.


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