Filming and photography
Arranging permissions and access
This page introduces how to arrange permissions and access for filming and photography in areas of Council responsibility in Edinburgh , including parking dispensations. (If you are looking for photos of Edinburgh you can see them on the Edinburgh Brand site.)
Please note that there are obvious exceptions to some of the information below for news filming/photography.
For comprehensive advice on filming in Edinburgh please contact the city's dedicated film office, Edinburgh Film Focus. The film office has an extensive locations library and production trained staff, and can advise you on permissions and procedures.
Parking dispensations are available to facilitate unloading equipment (i.e. filming equipment). They allow you to park on a single yellow line only. A minimum of 24hrs notice is required. Pay bays can be booked where longer term parking is required. 3 working days notice is required. Edinburgh Film Focus can coordinate this for productions (call 0131 622 7337).
Otherwise, NSL Parking manage parking in the city and can be contacted for dispensations on 0131 557 6941.
If you get a parking ticket or your vehicle is removed, please do not ask us to intervene. However, if you feel that you have received a penalty incorrectly, you should appeal (information is given about this in all penalty notices).
Parking in Parliament Square
This can be arranged, sometimes at short notice, but depends on availability of staff and whether or not there are any events scheduled. Contact the media team on 0131 529 4040 for details of how to arrange access.
Filming and commercial photography in parks etc (including Calton hill)
Contact the parks team for an application form. As a rule, at least 24 hours notice is required. In some cases, more notice will be essential. You will need to provide a copy of your public liability insurance before permission is granted. The current fee for standard filming is £100 per hour.
Filming in streets
In all cases, you are strongly advised to have public liability insurance and in some circumstances you may be asked for evidence of this.
If you are a small crew (less than 10) and just want to film on the street without having any areas closed off, you should notify Edinburgh Film Focus so they can alert local officers and Lothian and Borders Police .
You should not obstruct pedestrians or anyone else using the pavements/roads. If you are asked to move on by a Council officer or the police, you must do so. Also, please avoid filming at pedestrian crossings or junctions as it can either obscure views or create a distraction for drivers.
If you need a public area closed off, you need to contact Scott Findlay on 0131 529 3433 or Derek Shade on 0131 529 3400. They will usually require at least two weeks' notice in order to make the arrangements, depending on the area. If filming in one location is required for more than five days, then at least six weeks' notice is required. A fee is usually payable.
News filming in schools etc.
Phone the media team on 0131 529 4040 with the details of your request. Do not contact the school directly.
Ideally, we need your request by lunchtime the day before you want to film so that we have time to speak to the headteacher. However, we obviously appreciate that this is not always possible.
Each request is decided case-by-case. While we do our best, please be aware that we have to refuse the majority of requests to film in schools for practical or other reasons.
Filming or performing in cemeteries and burial grounds
If the request is from a news outlet, phone the media team on 0131 529 4040 with details of your request.
Otherwise contact Edinburgh Film Focus, but please note the following:
Depending on the nature of the request, there may be forms to complete and a charge may be payable. You will also be asked to supply copies of your public liability and risk assessment documents.
Requests are dealt with case-by-case. To allow your request to be processed you will need to supply the information below:
What the filming/photography/ performance is for/about (e.g. subject matter, for which channel/media)
Likely date and times for filming / performing
Size of film crew (and likely audience size, if performance request)
Equipment to be used
Vehicle access requirements