This vibrant and diverse South West England town offers an unusual combination of history, culture and heritage. Offering several tax incentives for film shootings, filmmakers have many options to choose from
It’s a whole new way of looking at Bristol, what is today an old industrial town in South West England. The story of this city, located west of London, is a fascinating read with its transformation from an old, rugged town to a buoyant city. Bristol is world-famous for Brunel’s Bridge, cathedrals, museums, its architecture and street art.
Gone are the days when Bath and London would outwit the city or rejuvenated Manchester would demean it with its modernisation. Today, Bristol is buzzing with a polished and glossy waterfront, parked with high-end yachts, cutting-edge restaurants and bars decorating the cobbled lanes, and designer stores. Bristol has a unique mix of history, culture and heritage. This has created a young, diverse and vibrant city that attracts people from all over the world.
The mix of dramatic landscape, Georgian and contemporary architecture, and innovative and creative talent has fashioned a relaxed, tolerant and hardworking city, where business and leisure go hand-in-hand.
The jaunty town brags buildings and architecture from the medieval era to the 20th century and beyond. Bristol Byzantine, developed in mid-19th century, is an architectural style unique to the city, of which several examples are still preserved. The Exchange, the Shakespeare Victoria Street, St Augustine’s Reach and various churches, some dating back to the 12th century, reveal the old Bristol, while the urban areas with tall, contemporary façades boast the development the city has undergone. Outside the historical environs, the city boasts several Tudor mansions built for wealthy inhabitants. Public houses of the same period still exist and they blend beautifully with modern development.
Culturally, Bristol is famous for its art and theatre apart from the music industry. The Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery has a collection of artworks and other natural history artifacts. A variety of events are held every year which not only draw the attention of the media but of producers too.
Bristol is a film-friendly city, which is apt for period films as they can adorn the look of yesteryear thanks to the city’s pristine architecture. As not many international films have been shot in the city, the locations are fresh. To promote the city, various tax incentives are offered by the UK government to filmmakers.
Bristol has had a large increase in production activity, exposure and importantly, new companies opening offices in the city.
It has a large infrastructure of crew and facilities
It is only two-hours away from London, with road, rail and air links
Public agencies that actively help productions and companies
A City Council that provides services dedicated to the film and TV Industry
A talented crew base and a large pool of new entrants
Bristol is the cultural capital of the South West England
For British qualifying films with a total core expenditure of more than £20 million, the film production company can claim a rebate of up to 20 per cent of the UK qualifying expenditure and claim 25 per cent for qualifying films with a core expenditure of £20 million or less.
The UK Government recently announced the details of its new tax credit system. In the 2015 Budget, an increase of 25 per cent was announced in the UK Film Tax Relief for films of all budget levels, subject to approval.
Accessing UK Film Tax Relief
Tax relief is available for British qualifying films. Films must either pass the Cultural Test or qualify as an official co-production
Films must be intended for theatrical release
Films, including those made under official co-production treaties, must reach a minimum UK spend requirement of 10 per cent
Tax relief is available on qualifying UK production expenditure on the lower of either – 80 per cent of total core expenditure; or the actual UK core expenditure incurred
Minimum UK spend requirement
A minimum of 10 per cent of costs must be spent on UK qualifying production expenditure. UK qualifying production expenditure is defined as expenditure incurred on filming activities (pre-production, principal photography and post production), which take place within the UK, irrespective of the nationality of the persons carrying out the activity.