In 2004 the UK Government revealed that it wished for a large portion of the BBC to move outside London. 2011 saw the BBC head north to Manchester and in the 7 years since the move, ITV have joined them in Media City, Salford.
With the major broadcasters making moves and new studios opening, the UK film industry has seen major growth outside of London in the past few years. As the top 3 cities (Birmingham, Greater Manchester and Leeds) are revealed as the final contenders for Channel 4’s second HQ, more commitments are being made to invest in production outside of London. Over the next 5 years, Channel 4 Executives have said that they will increase their program commissioning spend outside London by £250 million.
Britain is lucky to have a wealth of stunning locations and heritage buildings to call on for world renowned on-location shooting as well as world class studios. Bad Wolf Studios opened in Cardiff recently with support from local Government and forecasts great economic impact on the creative sector. Scotland looks to be following suit with the proposed Pentland Studios in Edinburgh.
Some of TVs most popular shows are filmed outside of London, such as Peaky Blinders, Victoria, Outlander and Poldark, proving that the ability to shoot such successful productions is more than possible outside of the capital. There is no denying that the majority is still filmed in London and the surrounding area but with investment on the rise in Wales, the North of England and Scotland, we may see this even out more over time. In 2017, it was revealed that Yorkshire and Humber saw the greatest growth in turnover thanks to the creative industries, beating out the rest of the UK, including London.
With tax breaks, world class studios and production crews, the UK is a more attractive place than ever to shoot film, TV and commercials. In 2017, the spend on film production in the UK reached the highest level on record with £1.9bn, a 12% increase on the previous year. The Office for National Statistics credits the industry with playing a substantial role in the modest growth in UK GDP.
With a lot of ITV and BBC shows filming outside of London, they have their own industry rates and here is Phil Glenister with some insight on rates…
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