Go West! Bristol’s Film and TV Industries

Go West! Bristol’s Film and TV Industries

Funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund, ‘Bristol Film & TV Industries’ analysed the size, shape and characteristics of the film and television industries in the Bristol region. This was important because – aside from the global brands BBC and Aardman Animations – little was known about the structure and characteristics of the city’s film and television industries or the nature and extent of their contribution to the region’s economic and cultural health.

In addition to an extensive review of existing research on creative industries ‘clusters’ and regional film and television production, we also generated substantial amounts of original data. We conducted two surveys – one for companies and one for freelancers – and eighteen in-depth interviews with company executives, employees and other workers. We also produced a map to show the companies’ location and researched the history of the region in order to understand how the cluster has evolved.

The ‘Go West! 2 report builds on this research, finding that the industry is experiencing very rapid growth, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and a historic lack of investment in the area from external sources. By examining the evolution of the industry between 2016 and 2021, they found that aggregate turnover increased 105%, from £140.3m to £288m, and the number of independent production companies increased from 131 to 189, demonstrating the economic significance of the industry to the region.  

Their research also established that full time staff in this sector are up from 2,200 to 2,760 – an increase of 25.45% during this period, and freelance numbers are up from 1,500 to approximately 2,500. The research highlighted an opportunity to enhance the strength and visibility of Bristol as a regional screen powerhouse, making a set of recommendations to policy makers.

Download the reports Go West! and Go West! 2.

View our interactive map to track expansion of the industry and the changes in creative clustering.