UK hotspots for film, television and radio production

Data reveals the UK hotspots home to the most film, TV, radio & photography businesses.

London is still the centre of media industry.

There was a time when most major cities across the UK had powerhouses of television thanks to the old regional ITV network, with Newcastle home to Tyne Tees, bringing shows such as The Tube, Catherine Cookson dramas and Crosswits to the nations screens while Central in Birmingham gave the country Spitting Image, Boon and Bullseye and Glasgow’s Scottish Television pumped out Take the High Road, Wheel of Fortune and Taggart to UK audiences. Even smaller ITV companies such as Border in Carlisle offered networked shows such as Look Whose Talking and Mr & Mrs. These days the production landscape has changed, with moves as late as last year to production hubs with ITV saying farewell to its last major studio facility in London – due to the closure of the former LWT Centre and Channel 4 relocating its HQ from the capital into smaller bases in a number of cities including Leeds.

However production in the UK is still thriving. According to more than £20 million is being injected into the UK’s increasing number of creative industries, in order to attract new talent, scale up businesses, boost skills and provide further education. After London (107,965), Slough & Heathrow has the highest employment rate within film, TV, radio & photography (15,155).

Tyne Tees marks its 60th anniversary next week, but gone are the days when it made network programming.

Out of the top six towns and cities, Penzance currently has the highest gross added value (GVA), in terms of employment at 9.73%. Unsurprisingly, London has the highest number of businesses with an above average specialisation in film, TV, radio & photography at 15,015 businesses.

The creative industries are currently a motor of growth within local economies spanning across the UK, not just in London and the South East of England. With increasing productivity and growing workforces, creative industries have the potential to play a role in closing the UK’s productivity gap.

Moreover, British creative industries have made another record contribution to the economy in 2018 with £101 billion (Creative Industries Policy and Research Centre). This comes as no surprise considering film, TV, radio, music and performing arts, photography, IT and advertising are all a part of this dominating sector. British business and consumer marketplace, sought to identify which areas across the UK have an above average specialism within the creative industries with the highest employment rate and businesses.

The Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol are a hive of activity for TV and movie production.

The data was obtained using the Nesta ‘Creative Nations’ interactive tool, selecting each creative industry (seven in total) and using the tool to collate data and statistics on the towns and cities with an above average local specialisation in each selected industry. The industries included in the tool are as follows: Advertising and Marketing, Architecture, Design (product, graphic and fashion design), Film, TV, Video, Radio and Photography, IT Software and Computer Services, Music, Performing and Visual Arts and finally Publishing. discovered that the following six towns and cities had the highest employment*, with an above average number of employees specialising in film, TV, radio & photography: London (107,965 employees), Slough & Heathrow (15,155), Manchester (12,830), High Wycombe & Aylesbury (1,835), Ipswich (1,170) and finally Penzance with 975.

MediaCityUK in Salford is home to several BBC and ITV productions including Blue Peter and Coronation Street.

Furthermore, OnBuy assessed the areas with the highest employment rate, and its overall added value to the local specialism. This revealed that although London has the highest employment number, Penzance has the highest gross value added (GVA) in reference to the number of employees employed in the area with a speciality in film, TV, radio and photography. Indicating that the value of this sector in Penzance has increased by 9.73%. Thereafter the order was as follows: London (2.85%), Slough & Heathrow (2.71%), Manchester (1.88%), High Wycombe & Aylesbury (1.50%) and finally Ipswich (1.31%).

The top towns and cities with the highest opportunities in film, TV, radio & photography with the most businesses with an above average specialisation, include: London (15,015), Slough & Heathrow (1,983), Manchester (1,090), High Wycombe & Aylesbury (503), Brighton (475) and Ipswich with 110.

* Creative Nation uses official, open and web data to map the creative industries in the UK. * The figures represent the most up-to-date available statistics surrounding the UK’s creative industries.

The ITV London Studios closed their doors for the final time in 2018. The complex opened in 1972 for London Weekend Television.
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