Canned Batgirl movie helps bring in £58m to Glasgow during filming

The city pocketed a healthy sum as a number of film and TV productions descended on the city last year.

Glasgow banks £58m for canned Batgirl blockbuster among dozens of film and TV productions STV News

Filming major movies and TV shows in Glasgow generated almost £58m for the city’s economy last year, a new report has revealed.

Hollywood movie Batgirl was shot entirely in the city, before Warner Brothers decided to scrap the project, but it still contributed to the “highest ever recorded” local spend.

A council report on the Glasgow Film Office (GFO) stated direct local expenditure hit £57.7m in 2022, following on from £42.2m in 2021.

It covers production costs on crew, services and facilities – such as equipment hire, security, location fees, traffic management – as well as accommodation and travel.

The report stated the total spend is “the highest ever recorded due to the large-scale Warner Bros’ production Batgirl, with estimated production spend increased by 36% from 2021, and an almost 200% increase from local spend in 2018”.

“The economic contribution to the city, through the hire of local crew, hire of local services, hotel accommodation, purchase of local materials and supplies, is immense,” it added.

“However, the production’s impact on a location must also be considered and the experience of Batgirl filming in the city has helped reshape the approach to city centre filming, and has prompted greater engagement between productions and local community councils.”

Productions shot in the city over 2022 included Mayflies, Granite City, Annika, Crime, Guilt 3, Step 9, The Elect, Loss & Return and Falling Into Place.

Cllr Ruairi Kelly, convener for neighbourhood services and assets, said the report “underlines the continued success of the council’s GFO in attracting film, broadcast and advertising productions of all sizes to the city”.

“Not only has this work brought hundreds of millions of pounds to the city’s economy over the past decade, it has helped to further develop this growing sector, bringing new jobs, skills and facilities to Glasgow, which for some time has been the centre of film and broadcast activity in Scotland.”

GFO was established in 1997 and aims to provide a production liaison service as well as market Glasgow as an “attractive and viable” location for film crews.

It is described as a “one-stop shop” for productions, which “signposts enquirers to the correct sources for necessary permissions and facilitates introductions and meetings with the appropriate agencies, location owners and council departments”.

The Film Office doesn’t charge for its services and there is “no specific permission required for filming”, but it does have advisory guidelines for crews working in the city.

Permission is required from location owners whose properties are hired for filming, which includes council-owned sites and public areas such as parks.

The council report includes feedback from location managers who have brought productions to the city.

David O’Reilly, location manager for The Batman and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, said: “I have always been a fan of the architecture and more importantly the people of Glasgow and over the years have been excited to offer it up as location for World War Z, Fast & Furious 6 and more recently The Batman and Indiana Jones.”

He added the team in Glasgow has “always been accommodating and their help on The Batman was essential and invaluable with our filming in the Necropolis and the surrounding streets”.

“Glasgow Film Office is among the best location support offices in the UK and I can’t wait to get back there.” 

Jeremy Kleiner, World War Z producer, said: “The co-operation we had from the GFO and indeed from across the city council made it all possible, and the people of Glasgow were incredibly welcoming. It’s been a very successful shoot here.” 

The Film Office reports the level of filming activity by recording all production enquiries, however not all film and TV productions require the assistance of the office. 

“Therefore, reported figures should always be seen as a healthy indication of overall production activity and not a comprehensive assessment of the city’s production industry,” the report added.

In 2022, there were 223 enquiries, an increase from 150 in 2021, and 156 productions filmed in the city, up from 75 in the previous year. There were 167 recorded productions in 2019 and 165 in 2018.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code