Annual figures released today (27 September) by Bristol Film Office show that film and TV production in the city generated an estimated £20.8m in 2021-22.
That is a 22% increase on pre-pandemic figures and the largest contribution that filming-related activity has made towards Bristol’s economy in a decade.
The total revenue for the 2021/2022 financial year was £20,857,000*, with productions such as Am I Being Unreasonable?, The Outlaws, Chloe, Showtrial and The Girl Before all contributing. This figure is a £3.8m increase on the 12-month total of £17m recorded in 2019-20, before the pandemic.
The amount of filming that took place in the city was up by 10%, with 1,067 filming days carried out at the Bristol City Council-owned Bottle Yard Studios and/or on location assisted by Bristol Film Office; the latter issued a total of 709 licences were issued by Bristol Film Office.
The 2021-22 figures are the first annual stats released by Bristol Film Office that illustrate an uninterrupted 12-month period of post-pandemic recovery for Bristol film and TV production. 2020-21’s annual total of £12.6 million was lower than preceding years, due to the three-month pause in production enforced in the first COVID-19 lockdown.
Filmed at The Bottle Yard Studios 2021-2022
Senior film manager Laura Aviles (Bristol City Council), who oversees Bristol Film Office and The Bottle Yard Studios, said: “These figures paint an extremely healthy picture for Bristol’s thriving film and TV sector. £20.8 million is the highest economic contribution generated by film and High-End TV production that we’ve seen in a decade, since the BBC took the decision to move Casualty’s production to Cardiff in 2011.
“The numbers were no surprise to our Film Office and Bottle Yard staff. We knew that production had kicked back into gear quickly after the production pause during the first lockdown in 2020…
“…With The Bottle Yard’s new TBY2 facility opening this Autumn, Bristol’s capacity for production is increasing significantly and we look forward to supporting more titles in the year ahead.”
Shane Allen, executive producer of new BBC One comedy thriller Am I Being Unreasonable? Remarked: “Bristol proved a terrific choice for many practical reasons and in giving the show its identity. Aside from the well-run Bottle Yard base, there is a wealthy array of city and rural location options within a relatively short radius.
There’s something of the soul of the West Country in Am I Being Unreasonable? which was creatively important to co-creator and co-writer Daisy May Cooper.”
Productions assisted by Bristol Film Office
Period drama Sanditon was one of the biggest productions to film in the city in 2021/22. Series two and three based production at the Brabazon Hangars (the future home of YTL Arena Bristol) where Sanditon’s village sets were built. Series two aired earlier this year on Masterpiece and BritBox UK and is available now on ITV. Series three, which will feature scenes filmed at Bristol’s Georgian House, is expected to air next year.
Other titles assisted by Bristol Film Office included: Peter Kosminsky’s The Undeclared War (Channel 4/ Peacock) which built large scale anti-capitalist sets on Redcliffe Wharf, Sky Max thriller The Lazarus Project starring Paapa Essiedu, which transformed Bedminster’s East Street into a 1990’s strip of bookies and electronic store shop fronts; and upcoming Doctor Who special ‘The Power of The Doctor’.
The Bottle Yard’s new expansion facility, TBY2, located less than half a mile from the main Studios site in South Bristol, opens its doors this Autumn. TBY2’s three sound-insulated, acoustically treated spaces will increase the total number of stages at The Bottle Yard Studios from eight to 11.
In addition to the 20,000 sq ft, 16,500 sq ft and 7,000 sq ft clear span build spaces, visiting productions will have access to more than 40,000 sq ft of additional ancillary space including serviced production offices, prop stores, construction workshops, costume/makeup and break out areas.
*Annual inward investment figures are calculated using national average production spend figures compiled by Creative England with contribution from all national Film Offices' data.