Movie producers will have to pay their way

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They’ve been the jewel in the crown of many a movie director or location scout, but now there’s going to be a charge associated with their use.

For years the harbours of the north-east have featured in some of Tinseltown’s biggest blockbusters, and while the production companies have raked in the cash, nothing has come back to the council for their use.

But that’s all set to change as a new policy has been agreed which will see any future movie or TV programmes wanting to use the iconic backdrops of the likes of Stonehaven or Portsoy having to pay for that privilege.

Aberdeenshire Council felt it was only fair that they too were reimbursed for the inconvenience of having film crews on-site for days at a time, when it is quite normal for production companies to pay for the use of private properties and locations around Scotland.

The council has now decided to introduce a £300 per day fee for the use of the harbours, some of which have doubled for scenes set in other countries due to the nature of the buildings which have changed little over the years.

The same fee will apply to those organisations looking to use the harbours to feature in television adverts, most notably of recent have been some of the major car manufacturers.

At the same time the council has decided to raise the fees payable by boat owners and other users of the harbours in the north-east, which has angered some who say that little work has been done to merit such increases.