Bottle Yard Studios generates hundreds of jobs as centre for TV and film production

An estimated 380 jobs were created on-site at Bristol’s Bottle Yard Studios last year, according to annual figures that highlight its importance to the region’s film and TV production sector.

Some 83% (315) of the full-time equivalent (FTE) positions were filled by crew working on productions made at the studios with a further 16% (60) created by business tenants providing specialist production services on site. 

The studios’ operational team accounted for just 1%, or five, of the posts.

More than two thirds of the posts benefitted the local workforce with around 243 positions filled by Bristol-based crew. There was also a focus on much needed skills development on-site with 50 of the positions filled by trainees.

The figures emerge from The Bottle Yard Studios’ 2016 On-Site Employment Summary.

A Bristol City Council initiative, the Bottle Yard Studios in Hengrove, South Bristol, is the largest studio facility in the West of England and attracted an impressive range of UK and overseas film and TV productions to the city since 2010, including Poldark, Broadchurch, The White Princess and BBC comedy thriller Ill Behaviour.

Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said: “A major part of our successful bid to become the UK’s second UNESCO City of Film was a demonstrable track record of creating employment and training opportunities in the film sector.

Read more: Bristol earns coveted UNESCO City of Film status

“These job creation figures show the growth we’re experiencing in the industry, fuelled in no small part by having a dedicated studio facility that draws production activity into the city.

Pictured: Eleanor Tomlinson films Poldark on set at The Bottle Yard Studios. Image courtesy Mammoth Screen & BBC

“Despite the tough times we face I remain committed to delivering essential services whilst also continuing to invest in our aspirations for the city’s future. One way in which we aim to meet those aspirations is by supporting the creative sectors and generating investment in the city that in turn builds homes, creates jobs and helps lift communities from hardship.”

The Bottle Yard Studios site’s warehouses, which had long stood empty after their traditional manufacturing tenants moved on, are now once again a hub of industry activity with 20 permanent tenants providing specialist services to the industry such as creative, digital, technical and audio/visual expertise, transport, structural, fire and safety assistance.

Paired with the tax breaks for film-making in the UK, the studios help pull UK and overseas business into Bristol, providing jobs and training and contributing to the £18m the city’s film and TV industry generates each year.

The Bottle Yard Studios team works in close partnership with Bristol City Council’s Film Office and other industry partners.

Read more: West’s star rises as centre for film and TV industry

Bottle Yard site director Fiona Francombe said: “By working with productions and businesses to monitor posts created at The Bottle Yard, we can do our bit to build the picture of Bristol’s talented production workforce, whose work leads to such a significant economic contribution to the city.

Pictured: Ill Behaviour on set at The Bottle Yard Studios. Image courtesy Fudge Park & BBC

“It’s also heartening to see the number of business tenants based here rising in number, with many companies expanding to take on extra staff. By supplying services to productions in Bristol and all around the country, they help The Bottle Yard stand out as a leading regional centre within the UK’s production infrastructure.”

The success of Bristol as a world leader in film production, culture and education was recognised earlier this month when it was named a UNESCO City of Film.  

Around 3,700 people are employed by independent film and TV companies in the wider Bristol region working in natural history, animation, factual, post-production, corporate and facilities.


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