First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, today announced funding of £475,000 to support the launch of a hub of the National Film and Television School (NFTS) in Scotland in partnership with the BBC.
The cash injection for NFTS Scotland, which will be based at BBC Scotland’s studios in Pacific Quay, Glasgow, and Dumbarton, was announced by the First Minister in her keynote speech at the Edinburgh International Television Festival.
NFTS Scotland will significantly enhance vital skills provision arising from the expected growth in film and television production in the country.
The BBC alone has committed additional investment of £40m a year in Scotland and is proposing to launch a new channel next year, as well as more network output in future.
NFTS Scotland is expected to open in January next year with students enrolling from April.
It will specifically work to address gaps in existing provision by delivering courses other providers aren’t currently offering in Scotland, such as production accounting, script editing, factual development and drama, craft and movie production accounting.
First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said: “This is an exciting development for our screen sector which is already an area of growth for Scotland. While we have excellent university and college provision for a range of screen subjects and media skills, NFTS’ plans will complement and expand the training opportunities available in Scotland.
“We have seen a rise in high-profile film and television productions being made in Scotland, and this government is focused on ensuring that continues.
“That is why we are establishing a new Screen Unit within Creative Scotland to better coordinate public sector support for screen. And as the BBC expands its operations in Scotland – specifically in Scottish news and drama productions – we must ensure people can gain and update the skills they need to capitalise on the opportunities ahead.”
BBC Scotland director, Donalda MacKinnon, said: “BBC Scotland already has an excellent track record in helping to create the broadcasting stars of the future through our various apprenticeship and training projects, so hosting the NFTS in our Glasgow HQ will build on that.
“The NFTS has a well-deserved international reputation for the quality of its training so we’re very happy to be working in partnership with them to ensure that we and other broadcasters – along with the film industry in Scotland – have a well-trained and well-educated workforce to select from for many years to come.”
Jon Wardle, NFTS director, said: ‘The NFTS has a proud history of developing Scottish talent from its base in Beaconsfield, so we are incredibly pleased to announce the expansion of the school into Scotland and look forward to making an even greater contribution to the Scottish economy through our unparalleled reputation for delivering high-calibre, job-ready graduates.”
Steve Morrison, television and film producer, who is the NFTS’ first-ever graduate and the BBC’s board member for Scotland, said: “As a Scot and a graduate of the NFTS, I am fully supportive of this initiative. It’s fantastic both for the School and for creative industries in Scotland to have such a driving new force in skills and talent development in Scotland.”