Major expansion plans confirmed for Bristol's Bottle Yard Studios

The proposed works will take the number of sound stages available at The Bottle Yard Studios from eight to 11

By Nia Daniels 31 Jan 2021

Major expansion plans confirmed for Bristol's Bottle Yard Studios
The Spanish Princess for Starz

Approval has been granted for The Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol to expand following a confirmed £11.8m investment by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA).

The scheme will involve the construction of three new sound stages measuring 20,000 sq ft, 15,000 sq ft and 6,800 sq ft, plus ancillary spaces including production offices, prop stores, costume/make-up areas and breakout spaces, totalling approximately 82,000 sq ft (7,600m²) of converted floor space.

The proposed works will take the number of sound stages available at The Bottle Yard Studios from eight to 11, whilst improvement work will also be carried out on the existing buildings at the main Bottle Yard site. It is estimated that the expansion will create around 1,000 jobs over a ten-year period.

An outline business case submitted to WECA by Bristol City Council for expansion of the studios into the neighbouring Hawkfield Business Park was approved by the WECA Committee, which greenlit the release of £135,000 to develop a full business case and the allocation of a further £11.73 million for the site purchase costs and to enable the works.

Tim Bowles, mayor of the West of England, said: “The Bottle Yard Studios is a terrific example of our region’s vibrant creative sector that brings so much joy to people right across the globe. I’m very pleased that as part of our Economic Recovery plan, we can help Bottle Yard Studios with £11.8m to expand and, with support from my team at Invest Bristol and Bath, attract more production companies to the West of England to help showcase the wonderful talent and opportunities we have in our region.”

Laura Aviles, senior Bristol film manager for Bristol City Council responsible for The Bottle Yard Studios & Bristol Film Office, added: “This is an extremely positive step in the right direction for our expansion plan. At The Bottle Yard Studios we’ve seen a significant post-COVID rise in demand for space, which was already high before the pandemic.

“Many production companies are now seeking to secure studios for multiple year periods. With more high-end TV titles opting to shoot in Bristol than ever before, this expansion will enable The Bottle Yard Studios to attract an even greater percentage of that potential business to the region.

“Valuable jobs will be generated for Bristol’s talented crew base, local companies will see an increase in workflow and vital career opportunities for industry entrants from all parts of the city will be created, particularly for those living close to the studios in South Bristol. All at a time when these opportunities are needed more than ever.”

In the past 15 years, Bristol Film Office has assisted TV & film production worth more than £235m of inward investment across the region, an average total of £15.8m per year.

Titles currently in production at The Bottle Yard Studios, which were founded ten years ago, include Stephen Merchant’s new BBC/Amazon Prime series The Offenders starring Christopher Walken, Netflix Original series The Last Bus and Starz; Becoming Elizabeth starring Alicia von Rittenberg.


The Spanish Princess image via New Pictures/Starz.
The Pale Horse image via Mammoth Screen, Agatha Christie Ltd, BBC.

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