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Hollywood film crews bring multimillion-pound windfall to Highlands

By Philip Murray

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The Traitors.
The Traitors.

Hollywood's interest in Highland filming locations looks set to bring record revenues to the Highlands this year, the council believes.

More than £3 million was spend directly in the region by TV and movie film crews in the 2022 calendar year, and Highland Council believes this record high will continue when the figures for 2023 are published in 2024.

The council revealed the information after praising the work of the Highland Film Commission – which the local authority runs – for its success in attracting filming to the region.

In recent years everything from James Bond to the Transformers have seen elements of their productions filmed in the region.

And one of the biggest TV smashes of 2023, the BBC hit Traitors – and its US counterpart – is also filmed in the Highlands at Ardross Castle in Easter Ross.

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With the eagerly-awaited second series of The Traitors due to hit BBC 1 next week, Highland Council said it was taking the opportunity to highlight the economic boost that such filming is bringing to the region.

Chairman of the council’s economy and infrastructure committee, Councillor Ken Gowans, said: “The screen industry across Scotland has seen a boom in the last five years and last year’s figures show that Highland is no exception to the trend, with both national and international productions filming in the area.

“Despite the Writers' Guild of America writers’ strike this year Highland has still had several high profile projects film in the region which will be announced in due course. Due to the diverse scenery in the Highlands these projects cover a huge range of genres and include small independent features, large scale programmes and factual projects.

“I would like to thank our in-house film team for all their hard work. With a few projects already in the works for 2024 we are pleased the Highlands are continuing to be a popular choice with film makers.”

The council added that direct spend in the Highland region reached more than £3million for the calendar year 2022, which is a record high for the region. Figures for 2023 will not be published until 2024 but it added that they "are expected to continue this trend".

This spend includes location fees, local crew hire, accommodation, catering, and other services required by productions whilst filming in Highland. It covers filming across the whole of the Highlands including Duncansby Head in Caithness, Torridon in Wester Ross, and Elgol on Skye.

Productions include both the UK and US versions of The Traitors, Chemistry of Death for Paramount+, C4’s Miriam and Alan Lost in Scotland and Beyond, a Bentley car commercial for their Flying Spur Speed model and many others.

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