HE was responsible for one of Scotland’s greatest victories at Bannockburn, and now a feature film based on the story of Robert the Bruce is bringing “huge benefits” to our screen sector, the Culture Secretary has said.

Outlaw King, from Scottish director David Mackenzie, is one of the biggest productions ever made in Scotland. Filming has just finished having shot at locations including Craigmillar, Blackness and Doune Castles, Aviemore, Linlithgow Palace and Glencoe.

Produced by Glasgow-based Sigma Films, it is backed by Netflix and funded by the Scottish Government and National Lottery. It will feature Star Trek’s Chris Pine and Game of Thrones actor Stephen Dillane, with Scottish actors James Cosmo, Tony Curran and Alastair Mackenzie also featuring.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop recently visited the set at Craigmillar Castle, Edinburgh, where she met cast, crew and production trainees.

She said: “We know that encouraging film and TV productions to base themselves in Scotland generates significant returns for the Scottish economy and opportunities for our skilled crew. A major production like Outlaw King brings huge benefits to the whole screen sector, as well as related businesses.

“Having our stunning locations featured in screen productions also increases tourism. Some of the locations featured in Outlander have seen visitor numbers increase significantly – Doune Castle recorded an increase of 91 per cent since being featured in the series.

“Total production spend on film and TV in Scotland has increased by more than 200 per cent since 2007, and I’m delighted to welcome Outlaw King as the latest chapter in this great success story.”

The production, which provided opportunities for 35 trainees, was awarded £500,000 from the Production Growth Fund (PGF) and another £500,000 from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.

The PGF, which is funded by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery, aims to maintain a steady stream of work for Scottish-based crew by encouraging screen productions to be based in Scotland.

Gillian Berrie, producer of Outlaw King, said: “Creative Scotland have really supported the development of Sigma and Outlaw King – one of the biggest homegrown films ever to be made in Scotland.

“We are grateful for their continued support and delighted that Scotland and its people will benefit from the legacy of this for years to come. Sigma Films are dedicated to nurturing the next generation of filmmakers and to that end have employed 35 trainees on Outlaw King working across all departments.”

Natalie Usher, director of screen at Creative Scotland added: “This exciting project, from one of Scotland’s leading production companies, about one of Scotland’s most iconic historical figures, provides the ideal opportunity to promote Scotland’s rich history, the ambition and talent of our filmmakers, and Scotland’s ability to develop and produce films of an epic scale with an ability to engage an international audience.”

Meanwhile Hyslop has signed off on the proposal to establish a new Screen Unit within Creative Scotland. The Screen Unit will work to enhance Scotland’s screen industry by aligning and coordinating public sector investment and support more effectively.

The collaborative proposal outlines how the unit will operate to capitalise on opportunities. It was developed by Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council, with input from those working in the sector.