Rise in Bristol's TV & film production

Tue 8th Aug 2017

Affiliate news

New figures released by Bristol Film Office show that film and TV production in the city continued to rise last year, contributing £18.3 million to Bristol’s economy in 2016-17.

In a year that saw a number of new series choose Bristol as their base, including lavish costume drama The White Princess (STARZ), powerful drama Three Girls (BBC) and comedy thriller Crazyhead (E4/Netflix), a number of major titles also returned to the city, including hit dramas Broadchurch (ITV), Poldark (BBC) and Doctor Who (BBC).

The city’s appeal to productions working on location continued to grow, with the Film Office issuing film permits for 484 productions, up 31% on the previous year’s total of 370. The number of filming days recorded also increased, with a total of 1,050 taking place over the course of the year – up 11% on 2015/16 and an increase of 83% on 2014/15.

Overall, total inward investment to Bristol from productions using services provided by Bristol Film Office and The Bottle Yard Studios totalled £18,354,000 in 2016/17, an 11% rise on the previous year’s total of £16.6m. The popularity of The Bottle Yard Studios with its eight stages and onsite business community, coupled with Bristol’s experienced crew and wider facilities infrastructure, are widely regarded to be key drivers of the consistently strong levels of production. UK tax incentives have also played a major role in attracting more big budget TV and film productions to the UK, many of which look outside London for studios and cost-effective locations.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “Bristol’s cultural sector is a thriving environment of creativity, industry, opportunity and diversity. This is in part fuelled by our growing reputation as a filming destination, attracting some of the biggest names in UK TV and film to either base their productions in Bristol or use the city as a backdrop. At the forefront of this success are the Bristol Film Office and The Bottle Yard Studios whose good work is evidenced by these latest figures.”

Bristol Film Office’s Natalie Moore says: “2016-17 was an excellent year for TV & film production in Bristol. Inward investment of £18.3 million reflects our success in attracting productions and also highlights howsignificant this industry is to Bristol’s economy. Not only are more productions opting to film here, but we’re also seeing a rise in recorded filming days. This means more work for local crew and is great news for Bristol businesses in other sectors like hospitality and transport, which benefit from workforces buying more products and services.

“Bristol's track-record in producing first class film & TV is well established. Our period and urban architecture, beautiful green spaces and historic harbourside can meet most location needs, whilst the skill of our specialist crew and award-winning companies is world-class. With The Bottle Yard Studios providing studio base, stages and green screen, Bristol is catering more comprehensively for filming needs than ever before. Incoming productions can find everything they need here. Another busy year is underway and our work continues to help ensure the city remains competitive as a worldwide filming destination in the year ahead.”

Upcoming productions filmed so far this year in Bristol include feature films Stan & Ollie (starring John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan as Laurel and Hardy) and The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Society (starring Lily James and Glen Powell), Sky Atlantic comedy drama Bliss (starring Heather Graham, Stephen Mangam and Jo Hartley), new series of cult gameshow The Crystal Maze (Channel 4) and new CBeebies’ green screen series Andy’s Safari Adventures, both made at The Bottle Yard Studios.

Bristol has a long-standing reputation as being film-friendly and has been home to some of the UK‘s biggest ever TV hits, including Casualty, Skins, Being Human, Only Fools and Horses and The Young Ones. Bristol Film Office has been supporting filming in the city since 2003 and The Bottle Yard Studios has been accommodating productions on its Hengrove site since 2010.