Bridgerton filming helps Bath make millions each year from TV

The cast returned despite the chilly weather
The cast returned despite the chilly weather -Credit:Nigel Hopes

An estimated £3.4 million was pumped into the Bath local economy last year by film crews using the city and surrounds. It was helped by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Film Office which is marking its 30 th anniversary this year.

As one of the longest established film offices in the country, the B&NE’s office acts as a vital cog, liaising between productions of all sizes, council services and supporting the needs of residents and businesses.

Using daily filming rates provided by Creative England an estimated £3.4 million was pumped into the Bath local economy last year by film crews through spend on accommodation, location hire, local crew and other services.

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Filming also brings money into the local economy through film tourism. Visit West’s 2023 Visitor Survey reports that 18% of visitors said that television had played a small part in motivating their visit, and 3% of visitors said it had played a strong part. This translates to more than a million visitors a year being motivated in part to visit Bath by what they’ve seen of the city on television.

The same survey shows 28% of day visitors associated the area with Bridgerton. And the TV series has spawned a whole new industry of Bridgerton tours and experiences in the city which generated an estimated £5m into the economy.

The first drama filmed after its creation was the 1995 BBC adaptation of Persuasion starring Cieran Hinds and Amanda Root. Since then, numerous TV dramas and feature films have filmed in Bath including:

· Vanity Fair (Reece Witherspoon)

· The Duchess (Keira Knightley)

· Les Miserables, where a stunt double for Russell Crowe floated down over Pulteney Weir

· Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman)

· Wonka (Timothy Chalamet)

· The Trial of Christine Keeler

· The Bath based detective series, McDonald and Dodds

· And of course, Bridgerton

The Film Office doesn’t just support dramas, it also facilitates filming for documentaries, adverts and large photoshoots – look out for Keynsham Recycling Centre which features in the popular BBC One series Money for Nothing. And it provides advice and support to students who want to film in the area.

Cllr Paul Roper, cabinet member for economic and cultural sustainable development, said: “Bath and our surrounding towns and villages are a fantastic destination for filming and the council works hard to balance the needs of a production, however large or small with those of our residents and businesses. The film office does a great job to support film requests – congratulations on a 30-year anniversary.”

The office’s anniversary year looks set to be busy with the Film Office currently handling a lot of new enquiries. And Bath will again play a starring role in Bridgerton Series 3 which launches 16th May.