Screen Unit proposal published

Published: 11 Dec 2017

Following approval from Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, the proposal for a Screen Unit within Creative Scotland, presenting a more collaborative inter-agency approach and clear leadership on public sector interventions and support for Scotland’s screen sector, is published today.

The collaborative proposal has been developed by Creative Scotland and Screen Unit partners, which include Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council, as well as input from people and organisations working in the screen sector.

Combining the expertise of creative, skills and enterprise partners to drive cultural, social and economic development, the proposal sets out a shared vision, and sets ambitious targets for a Scottish screen sector which:

  • is more vibrant, strong and resilient, supporting sustainable creative enterprises
  • is internationally competitive and recognised as a centre of excellence and innovation for content development and production, talent, skilled craft and technical crews, infrastructure, facilities companies, exhibition and film education
  • develops, attracts and retains talent through inclusive, accessible and progressive education and skills development
  • supports growth in audiences at home and abroad with engaging and acclaimed content and a strong, distinctive cultural voice
  • promotes equality, diversity and inclusion, in front of and behind the camera

The Screen Unit will be led by and situated within Creative Scotland, with support from the Screen Unit partners, and working with the Scottish Government. It will build on everything that’s been achieved to date in support of Scotland’s screen sector.

The publication of the proposal follows the announcement in The Scottish Government’s 2017 Programme for Government of a doubling of resources for the Screen Sector in Scotland from £10million per annum to £20million next year.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs said: “I am encouraged by the progress and clear partnership approach behind the Screen Unit proposals, and I recognise the significant effort that has gone into their production by our agencies, including Creative Scotland.

“I welcome the single plan which details how each agency will contribute to achieving a shared vision for the sector which is ‘more vibrant, strong and resilient, supports sustainable creative enterprises, and grows its contribution to Scotland’s social, cultural and economic success’.

“This Government recognises the importance of strengthening our film and TV sector. That is why we reaffirmed our commitment to screen by providing an additional £10 million of funding in 2018-19 to bring screen development, production and growth funding to £20 million next year.”

John McCormick, Chairman, Screen Sector Leadership Group said: “This is a significant development, strongly supported by those working across the screen industry. The new Screen Unit will provide the leadership, co-ordination and accountability that is essential to ensure that there is sustained economic and cultural development across the sector.”

Janet Archer, CEO at Creative Scotland said: “We are extremely pleased to present the vision and ambition for this new collaborative approach to public sector support for the Screen Sector in Scotland. Benefitting from an additional £10m investment from the Scottish Government, the Screen Unit will build on everything that’s been delivered to date by Creative Scotland and partners, and it will enable us to create more opportunities for our world-class talent, crews and locations.”

Linda Hanna, Managing Director, Scottish Enterprise said: “This latest development is great news for our screen industries and takes us a step closer to establishing a Screen Unit that will help Scotland’s film and TV sector flourish further.  We’re working closely with Creative Scotland and the other partners to develop the shape of the new unit and look forward to seeing the unit operational and supporting even more production companies to scale up to achieve their ambitions in 2018 and beyond.”

Charlotte Wright, Chief Executive, Highlands and Islands Enterprise said: “Screen production provides a significant part of the wider creative industries - a vibrant industry which HIE supports. There is a wealth of creative talent in the screen sector contributing to both the economy and cultural life in the Highlands and Islands. The new Screen Unit will help ensure there are vital opportunities for people to gain and update the skills they need to capitalise on the opportunities ahead and for talent to flourish.”

Damien Yeates, Chief Executive, Skills Development Scotland said: “Skills Development Scotland welcomes the publication of the Screen Unit proposal. We very much look forward to working with the Screen Unit and the Scottish screen industry to support work-based learning across the screen value chain to develop the current and future workforce to maximise the sector’s growth opportunities.”

John Kemp, Interim Chief Executive, Scottish Funding Council said: “This heralds a new and exciting era for the Scottish screen industry. For students in Scotland’s colleges and universities it means even better opportunities for work placements that will enrich their learning experience and increase their attractiveness to future employers. The SFC funded Creative Media Network for Excellence will be working closely with the new Screen Unit.”

An implementation plan is in development with a view to the Screen Unit being fully operational within Creative Scotland by April 2018.

Further updates on the Screen Unit will be made here:


Screen Unit - collaborative proposal

Download the full proposal document, for a Screen Unit within Creative Scotland, in PDF format.

Screen Agencies - Overview working paper

Download the Screen Agencies Overview working paper, prepared for the Screen Unit Project by EKOS to inform the Strategic Work Stream, in PDF format.

Scotland’s Screen Sectors – Economic Baseline

Download the report to the Screen Sector Unit Project Board, prepared by Olsberg SPI, in PDF format.

Notes to Editors

In 2016, the Scottish Government set out its ambition to establish a dedicated Screen Unit to enhance support for Scotland’s screen industry and to better align and coordinate public sector investment and support.

Media Contact

Eilidh Walker, Screen Unit Project Communications Officer, Creative Scotland
Tel +44 131 523 0019
Mobile +44 7545 402 064