Independent Television Production Sector (Assistance)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 30th May 2013.

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Photo of Patricia Ferguson Patricia Ferguson Labour

6. To ask the Scottish Government what assistance it provides to the independent television production sector in Scotland. (S4O-02190)

Photo of Humza Yousaf Humza Yousaf Scottish National Party

Creative Scotland has announced the commencement of its £4 million film and television funding programme for 2013-14, which is now open for applications.

Other assistance has included on-going advocacy by the Scottish Government in relation to raising the level of network production in Scotland, which translates into increased opportunities for the independent television production sector. From a low base in 2006 in which 2.6 per cent of network production was sourced from Scotland, the sector now produces 4.9 per cent of the television content that is watched on screens throughout the United Kingdom.

Photo of Patricia Ferguson Patricia Ferguson Labour

The minister will be aware that I have raised that question on a number of occasions with the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs.

I am still of the opinion, through conversations with people in the independent television sector, that there is not enough support for the sector. That is certainly the view that the sector has put to me, and its representatives have also raised issues about their ability to access information on funding through Creative Scotland.

I note the commencement of the new £4 million film and television production fund, but I would be interested to know what proportion of that fund will be available specifically to the television sector.

Photo of Humza Yousaf Humza Yousaf Scottish National Party

As Patricia Ferguson knows, that fund is open to the independent sector for applications.

I agree that more can always be done. The cabinet secretary’s announcement last week on assistance for a possible film studio—which would be of great benefit and use to the sector—was broadly welcomed. Furthermore, I assure Patricia Ferguson that, following the hoped-for new appointment of the chief executive of Creative Scotland, that project will be a priority for the organisation.

I am happy to keep Patricia Ferguson updated on further developments, particularly on the film studio project, which will be a welcome and encouraging step in the right direction to support the independent television sector in Scotland.

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

Question 7 has not been lodged, and an explanation has been provided.