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Major dramas such as Sherlock and Poldark help Bristol economy generate £17.5 million from film and television industry

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Written by: Gavin Thompson | Posted 22 May 2015 8:42

Major dramas such as Sherlock and Poldark help Bristol economy generate £17.5 million from film and television industry

The film and TV industry generated £17.5 million for the city’s economy in 2014-15, according to new figures released today from the Bristol Film Office.

Poldark, Wolf Hall, The Casual Vacancy and Sherlock, were made in Bristol, as the city continued to build its reputation as a home to drama.

It’s quite a turnaround for Bristol which, although it has remained the place for natural history, had suffered a blow when the BBC moved Casualty to Cardiff and designated the Welsh capital as its regional base for drama back in 2011.

Smaller productions made a mark too, including BAFTA-winning ITV drama The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, upcoming MoliFilms comedy heist movie Golden Years and Channel 4 comedy The Mimic.

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.

Mayor of Bristol 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.”

The city’s period properties, urban cityscape and open green spaces are popular with film makers but the key to the increase has been the growth at The Bottle Yard Studios in Hengrove.

The studios is now home to 15 businesses as it builds up an eco-system of services for film makers from post-production work to taxis.

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 says: “£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 inward investment sum is down on the year before’s £19.6 million, which the film office puts down to normal fluctuations in production schedules.

“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,” said Natalie.

“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.”

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.

Pictured: Bernard Hill in upcoming heist film Golden Years


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