A lack of talent at the top level of TV production is holding back the industry in Scotland, a new report has found.

The major new report by the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (Pact) also calls for a dedicated agency for the TV and film sector.

The report, A New Model: Building a sustainable independent production sector in Scotland, says that the independent production business is worth £190m north of the border.

Scottish-based production companies such as the Comedy Unit, Mentorn Scotland, IWC, Raise the Roof, Finestripe, Matchlight and Hopscotch produce hours of programming for the major channels with shows such as Burnistoun, Limmy’s Show, Wild Things, Beechgrove Garden, Air Ambulance, What Do Artists Do All Day, Imagine, and many documentaries such as The Story of Women and Art.

However the report says that TV production is "beginning to stagnate" and one reason is a shortage of "senior talent" north of the border, notably executive and series producers.

It says: "There was consistent feedback, from large and small players and commissioners, about the shortage of senior talent, notably Executive and Series Producers.

"This was seen to undermine credibility with network commissioners and the willingness of channels to take risks, particularly on long-run shows, in Scotland.

"In addition, lack of depth in key genres was seen as limiting development of the next generation of Scottish talent."

It also says that while Scottish TV companies have grown, compared to Bristol, home to natural history programming, and Cardiff, which houses the BBC's long running dramas, "Scotland was not seen to have one important genre where it has a national centre of excellence to act as a focus for commissioners and a magnet for talent."

Several producers are quoted anonymously in the report, which is published today.

One says: "Finding good Scottish executive producers is hard" while another says: "There is a shortage of talent. There are too few outstanding Executive Producers and not enough Series Producers in Scotland. They have not succeeded in growing the next


Another adds: "There are not enough big companies which makes it hard for writers and directors to build a career in Scotland."

One says: "Finding the right people is difficult. We don’t want to bring people up from London, but it is not always easy."

It calls for a "dedicated agency" for the TV and film sector.

"The Scottish Government should designate a single agency, either Creative Scotland or Scottish Enterprise to be a champion for the TV and film sector with a sufficient budget attached to help incentivise production at home, growing digital capabilities and supporting international sales."

It says Creative Scotland, the national arts body, should "develop a strategy for growing and supporting the independent production sector in Scotland, arguably the most commercially successful sector in the creative

The Scottish original production market is worth approximately £190 million, and, since 2009, has grown by 9% per annum.

For the report, consultants Prospero and Ekos interviewed 20 production companies in Scotland and 20 production companies elsewhere in the UK.

It reports conflicting views on the controversial "lift and shift" phenomena, where companies open an office in Scotland to make one or two productions and then move on again.

One producer said: "Lift & Shift was a necessary evil to bring scale, capacity and diversity" but another says "we believe not enough of the Scottish quota is being delivered by genuinely Scottish indies."

Another producer adds: "Lift & Shift has built employment, but the profits go to London."

John McVay, chief executive of Pact, said: “There has been good growth in the Scottish indie sector over recent years but it is slowing and we need to do something now to build on that success.

"That is why we are making these recommendations to all parts of the industry – commissioners, regulators, Government and producers themselves – to help develop a new wave of Scottish production companies and build a sustainable Scottish indie sector”.

Jane Muirhead, director of Pact in Scotland said: “There has long been a debate in Scotland about the impact of ‘Lift and Shift’; the report sets out the different versions of this and the local impact, both positive and negative that this has had."

A Creative Scotland spokesman said: “Over the past six months we have been actively working with members of Pact through the TV Working Group to develop a strategy for growth for the sector and this will be completed before the end of the financial year.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with PACT to ensure its recommendations also feed into the work of a new broader Screen Sector Leadership Group, hosted by Creative Scotland and chaired by John McCormick.

"A meeting will take place on Tuesday 15 December in Glasgow to discuss the formation and membership of this new group.”