Scotland’s creative agencies should work closely with the industry to establish clearly defined strategies and ensure that support can be tailored to industry needs, according to a report by a parliamentary committee.
The Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee has today published its findings following an inquiry into the economic impact of Scotland’s film, TV and video games industries.
Convener of the Committee Murdo Fraser MSP said:
“Scotland has great potential to grow its film, TV and video games sectors, to attract and retain talented people at the heart of these industries, and to build the skills and expertise of people in Scotland.
“This report makes clear that to achieve that growth the support that they receive from the Government and its agencies must be informed by the industries themselves. Agencies working collaboratively and in collaboration with the industries are the key to success.
“It is evident that this is not currently happening. This must be addressed urgently.”
On the specific issue of a film and TV studio, Mr Fraser continued:
“Scotland needs a film and TV studio. Any further delay is likely to cause lasting damage to our film and TV industries.”
Deputy Convener of the Committee Dennis Robertson MSP said:
“It was clear from our evidence that the Scottish Government is supportive of the creative industries and has prioritised their development as a key sector. However, all witnesses agreed that there was more to be done, which is reflected in our report.”
In its report, the Committee:
Urges Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government to reach a decision on the current private sector proposal for the development of a film and TV studio as soon as possible.
- Understands that the Scottish Government cannot fully fund a film and TV studio but asks it to consider the help that it, and its agencies, can provide to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place to maximise the benefits for the indigenous film industry.
- Recommends that the Scottish Government provides direction to Scottish Enterprise and Creative Scotland to work in partnership in order to support the economic and cultural needs of the film industry, and review their performance annually against a specific performance indicator.
Is concerned that despite Creative Scotland’s recently published 10 year strategic plan for the arts and screen industries there appears to be a lack of strategy for supporting and growing the TV sector.
- Found that Ofcom quotas for greater production and spend in Scotland by the public service broadcasters represent a huge opportunity to increase the skills and expertise within Scotland’s independent TV industry, but this will only be realised in commissioners abandon their reliance on ‘lift and shift’ in favour of investing production by independent TV companies with a permanent base in Scotland. The Committee calls upon the BBC and Channel 4 to adopt this new approach to commissioning by the end of 2016.
- Thinks that an emphasis should be placed on increasing the number of commissioners based in Scotland to effectively engage with the industry. The Committee asks the Scottish Government to provide an update on progress by December 2015.
Recommends that Creative Scotland leads co-ordination of the industry, academia and public bodies to establish a national strategy which will deliver a sustainable Scottish video games industry. Given the dynamic nature of the sector this should be done as a matter of priority, and regularly updated in collaboration with the video games industry.
- Recommends that Creative Scotland should lead in working with the video games industry to identify skills gaps, promote job opportunities to young people and education courses more closely with the industry.