Bristol’s film industry worth £17.5 million to the city

By The Bristol Post

BRISTOL’S fast growing film and television industry is worth an estimated £17.5 million to the city’s economy – according to official statistics.

Over the last year major productions including Sherlock, the award-winning The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies and Poldark were all made in the city.

And Bristol Film Office has released new figures which found that the industry generated almost £17.5 million towards the city’s economy.

Other big hits made in Bristol included period drama Wolf Hall, the hugely popular Broadchurch and JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy.

Much of the success has been based around the Bottle Yard – a film studios based in a former wine warehouse in the north of the city.

In the year 2014-15, Bristol Film Office issued 406 filming licenses (10 per cent more than in 2013-14) and the city hosted a total of 572 filming days.

Inward investment to the city from productions working in Bristol remained high with a total figure of £17,412,000.

George Ferguson said: “I’m delighted to see Bristol’s growing success as a hub for TV and film production, which continues to deliver consistent levels of investment, fuelling a strong new era of film making in the city. Having not had a full-time drama based here for some time now, this is a particularly encouraging achievement.

“With an established production hub at The Bottle Yard Studios and a responsive support service from Bristol Film Office, we’ve developed a comprehensive film making infrastructure making Bristol a national location of choice. Amongst the many benefits generated are employment and skills development, raising Bristol’s profile across the world and vital investment in this city’s cultural and creative landscape.”

With its period properties, urban cityscape and open green spaces, Bristol has long been a popular filming destination for TV and film producers, but last year a marked rise in bookings at the city’s production hub, The Bottle Yard Studios, further boosted the city’s offering, leading it to attract fresh interest from Heads of Production on both sides of the Atlantic. Disney/ABC Studios’ musical comedy fairytale Galavant, made at The Bottle Yard Studios, was the first US broadcast TV pilot to be made in the UK in early 2014, following the introduction of the Government’s new high-end TV tax relief in 2013. It went on to film its first series at the Studios last summer.

Bristol Film Office’s Natalie Moore said: “£17.5 million is an outstanding contribution to our local economy, and proof of why it makes sense to support film and TV production in Bristol.

“The figure is fractionally lower than the 2013-14 figure of £19.6 million, but this degree of fluctuation from year to year is normal given that certain productions are required, due to their storylines, to film more days on location outside the city than others. Overall the figures point to a consistently strong and reliable level of production in the city, which is great news, and the calibre of productions we attract to Bristol has certainly been rising in the last 12 months.

“Our robust track record is testament to the skill of industry crew and companies we have here in Bristol. When a production contacts the Film Office, we always know that we’ll be able to source the skills or facilities they need locally, and that’s a great string to our bow. Another busy year is now well under way and we hope to see this strong level of production maintained in 2015-16.”

The Bottle Yard Studios continued to host long running Channel 4 gameshow Deal or No Deal which is now in its tenth year of filming in Bristol, and popular Sky1 HD comedy series Trollied, which has made four series in Bristol to date.

Bristol has a long-standing reputation as being film-friendly and has been home to some of the UK’s biggest 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.

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