Community not always included in Glen Etive filming profits

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The stunning landscape of Glen Etive has led to it being used as a setting for major motion pictures, luxury adverts and documentaries.

But the residents, who mostly live near the loch and only have the one road to access the A82, are frustrated by the lack of inclusion into what is actually going on.

Productions can sometimes go ahead without residents knowing, leading to anger at not being allowed to drive down the road to meet urgent appointments.

The joint community council for Glencoe and Glen Etive want there to be more inclusion and suggest that a donation of £250 per day of filming should be made to the community.

Community councillor and Glen Etive resident, Mark Shone, does not want to dissuade companies from using the glen, he just wants to know in advance.

He said: ‘It would be very helpful to us as residents to be informed of intended road closures, no matter how short, so we can plan around them.

‘This is very important especially when it comes to getting our five-year-old to school. The taxi drop-offs and collections are time critical, especially when trying to fit in with work.’

Mr Shone is very active in clearing up litter and tents left by visitors to the glen. Having a donation from film companies would mean that more of this could happen along with more initiatives by the community to minimise effects.

Chairwoman of the community council, Viki Sutherland, suggested that a £250 donation is a reasonable amount.

She said: ‘There should be a clause in any filming contract stating that a donation is made to the community council. This would mean that companies are at least aware of this responsibility and that people live in the area.’

The community council and residents want everyone who visits the glen, for work or play, to enjoy their visit, but to be responsible for their actions.

A company called MTP, based in Glasgow, filmed an advert for Mercedes in the glen last November, promised a donation but because they did not receive an invoice, only bank details, the donation slipped through the cracks.

They have since rectified the issue and the initial donation of £150 was doubled as an apology to the community.

One of the big landowners of Glen Etive is the National Trust for Scotland, which facilitated the James Bond Skyfall scene that was filmed in the area.

They accept a donation should be made, but said £250 per day is well beyond the budget of all but the biggest companies – most are surprisingly tight for funding, especially in the case of BBC or documentary productions.

‘When filming activity is likely to have a direct impact on local residents,’ said local operations manager for NTS, Emily Bryce, ‘we request that film companies contact the secretary of the local community council to ensure the community is fully informed of dates and times. We also request that they make a donation to the community council as recompense for any disruption experienced.

‘While we know that some productions have made donations, it’s disappointing to learn from the new chair of Glencoe and Glen Etive community council that some have not heeded our recommendations. In future, we’ll take responsibility for alerting the community council to upcoming productions and will review potential options for channelling donations.’

The money made by NTS from filming in their estates goes towards maintaining the likes of footpaths and employing local people.

Ms Bryce is committed to working with locals to ensure the benefits of the area’s popularity are shared and challenges are addressed.