Global Communities and society

Supporting local cinemas and the film industry : Case studies and resources for local government


Every week, we highlight inspiration and innovation from local government worldwide. In this article, we’re focusing on how we can help support local cinemas, local film culture, and the local movie and TV industry. You’ll find best practice from Croatia, Northern Ireland, Austria and more, along with plenty of practical policy and resources for more insight and guidance on the topic.

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Policy innovation and inspiration examples from the local government sector

Resources to help build stronger communities

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Case study: Regional Screen Scotland
Regional Screen Scotland is a not-for-profit that provides advice and information on creating and managing local screen facilities. From 2019 to 2022, it ran the A Cinema Near You programme, which set out to improve access to cinema provision across Scotland. Its purpose was to provide the communities with the greatest need, and who may feel the most significant benefits, with open and accessible cinema screens, in a effort to boost local cultural engagement. With collaboration between local governments, community housing orgs, housing and town centre planners, leisure trusts and health and wellbeing groups, the programme brought new cinema access to communities. Projects ranged from new full-time cinemas, to community-led venues, to local screen networks.

Report: Measuring the economic value of cinema venues
This report published by the BFI reveals the additional economic value that cinemas generate for communities. The previously unmeasured benefits of the social value of cinemas are shown to be an additional £600,000 a year per cinema in the UK. This wider social value, stemming from the expansive cultural experiences that cinemas provide, is on top of the value generated by standard ticket and membership sales, estimated at £1.18 million a year. Further, the report found that 63% of respondents the BFI surveyed stated that their local cinema contributes to “their sense of pride in the area where they live”, while also contributing to extra footfall and local spending.

Explainer: Local aspects and impacts of film-induced tourism
This article provides a background on film-induced tourism; “a specific pattern of tourism that drives visitors to see screened places during or after the production of a feature film or a television production”. It highlights the many forms that this type of tourism can take, ranging from movie tourism “pilgrimages” to film tourism packages organised by local actors.

Resource: How to market your city to the film industry
This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to market a city to the film industry. It highlights the importance of understanding the city’s unique selling points, such as locations, tax incentives, and local resources. In addition, it emphasises the need to create a film commission, engage with local filmmakers, and develop relationships with industry professionals. Additionally, it suggests leveraging social media and online advertising to reach a wider audience and connecting with film festivals to network with potential clients. By following these strategies, local authorities can better attract film productions and boost their local economy.


Looking for even more on this topic? Check out our backgrounder on cultural services! Make sure you subscribe to LGIU to never miss out on this essential service for the local government sector everywhere.


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