Filming of Star Wars series Andor and other shows brings £1.1m boost to area

Argyll and Bute Council said it has seen an increase in filming requests.
Argyll and Bute Council said it has seen an increase in filming requests.

Filming of productions such as the Star Wars series Andor and a crime drama by Sir Ian Rankin has brought a £1.1 million boost to the Argyll and Bute economy over two years.

Argyll and Bute Council said accommodation providers, local shops, caterers and services are all benefitting from an increase in filming in the area.

Key scenes from Disney+ series Andor, which stars Diego Luna and Stellan Skarsgard, were filmed at Cruachan Power Station and Ben Cruachan in June 2021.

Other productions shot in the area include BBC programme Martin Compston’s Highland Fling, shot in places including Dunoon and Loch Lomond, and the CBeebies series Ranger Hamza And The Ramblers, which was filmed in Oban, Connel and Mull and presented by Strictly Come Dancing winner Hamza Yassin.

A CBeebies show hosted by Strictly champion Hamza Yassin was partly filmed in Oban (Jane Barlow/PA)

Between January 2021 and January this year, 89 productions were filmed in Argyll and Bute, bringing an estimated £1.1 million to the local area.

Councillor Liz McCabe, the council’s policy lead for islands and business development, said: “In Argyll and Bute, we are proud to be able to offer some of the world’s best scenic backdrops to the screen industry.

“Filming in the area not only brings a welcome economic boost to local businesses and services, it also provides opportunities to market the area and boost visitor numbers through increased film tourism.”

Diego Luna
Andor stars actor Diego Luna as Cassian Andor (Ian West/PA)

Productions filmed in the area over the last two years also include the BBC drama Float, shot at the former Helensburgh Swimming Pool, while Oban Airport featured as a location in Top Gear.

Murder Island, a drama written by Sir Ian, was filmed on Gigha over six weeks from May 2021.

The council said the sector continues to recover from the impact of the pandemic with a substantial rise in filming requests now starting to come in.

Its film service continues to work with production companies and Screen Scotland to attract inward investment across the area.

A council update report on filming said it is “highly likely” that creating more studio space in the central belt is having a positive economic impact on surrounding areas of Scotland.