Following the exciting news that Bristol will soon become a new creative hub for Channel 4, Bristol Film Office is celebrating its 15th birthday with the equally great news that it has helped facilitate more than £235million to Bristol’s economy since its establishment.

In just 2017/18 alone, Bristol Film Office generated £15.2million inward investment to the city, as well as helping to produce 470 more jobs at The Bottle Yard Studios, the largest film and TV studio in the West of England.

Following Bristol being named a UNESCO City of Film last year, 2018 saw more 383 productions issued with permits to film in the city, and Bristol Film Office recorded 1,141 filming days at Bristol locations and/or at The Bottle Yard Studios.

After its growing success in the film and television sector, four feature films were shot in Bristol last year. In April 2017, both the Laurel & Hardy biopic Stan & Ollie – starring Steve Coogan and John C Reilly – and Mike Newell’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society starring Lily James and Matthew Goode, used the city’s historic harbour and iconic ship The Balmoral as key filming locations.

The fourth series of BBC One’s Poldark built more sets at The Bottle Yard Studios than ever before. Pictured is the set of Warleggan House (c) BBC & Mammoth Screen

Iain Morris’s raucous comedy The Festival from the creators of The Inbetweeners filmed on sets at The Bottle Yard Studios and on location at Colston Hall, Hengrove Park and Ashton Court last summer, and Neil Marshall’s upcoming blockbuster Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen starring David Harbour (due to UK premiere in January 2019) used Waring House, a council block in the city’s Redcliffe area, for night-shooting of major scenes last September.

The year saw a host of high-profile TV titles filmed in the city. Sky drama A Discovery of Witches starring Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer (showing now on Sky One and Now TV) made the most of Bristol locations including Corn Street and Deanery Lane which doubled for Oxford.

Series three of Sky Atlantic’s major arctic thriller Fortitude starring Dennis Quaid and Richard Dormer (due to in December) recreated the icy extremes of Svalbard, Norway in sets at The Bottle Yard Studios, while the fourth series of BBC One’s Poldark built more sets at the studios than ever before. There were 18 in total including a period-correct scale replica of the House of Commons. Dramatic mine scenes were also filmed in the underground tunnels of Redcliffe Caves.

Hard-hitting Channel 4 drama Kiri starring Sarah Lancashire, also chose Bristol’s urban streets and green spaces as its backdrop while also filming the city from the sky, arranging significant use of camera drones.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society filming on Princes Wharf (c) Bristol Film Office

Gameshows have also been popular in Bristol with Channel 4’s The Crystal Maze filming a second set of episodes from its impressive sets at The Bottle Yard Studios, and ITV’s Tipping Point and Tipping Point Lucky Stars have also relocated to the Studios in March this year following a bumper ITV commission of 354 episodes over two years.

Bristol has a long-standing reputation as being film-friendly and has been home to some of the UK‘s biggest ever 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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Main image: Sarah Lancashire in Kiri (c) Channel 4. Credit: Nick Wall