West London’s film and TV Industry is globally sought-after and actively growing the UK economy

Industry News  |  11 January 2024

A new report looking into the economic viability of the film and TV industry reveals that West London is now firmly established as a global film and TV destination that is both building the West London local economy, and also demonstrating how other areas in the UK can learn from it to generate financial growth and local jobs.

The report, by Saffery Champness LLP and Nordicity, which was commissioned by Hounslow Borough Council on behalf of Creative Enterprise Zone West and Screen Capital West, with support from the Mayor of London’s office, set out to analyse the local economic benefits of film and TV Studios in West London. The objective was to re-balance the discussion of the economic benefits of film and TV production to its impact on the long supply chain across the sub-region.

The report demonstrates that the UK continues to be one of Hollywood’s preferred destinations for filming big-budget feature films. While production dipped in 2020 and 2021, due to the pandemic and its impact on both production and cinema audiences, film production in the UK rebounded to just under £2 billion in 2022.

The UK’s film and TV production industry is very much export-driven. The value of its exports in 2019 were equivalent to 40% of its GVA – higher than any other service industry. In 2022 alone, the UK’s film and TV production industry received over £5.4 billion in inward investment production.

Given its long history of hosting film and TV production, West London (Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow) is already well placed to benefit from these expenditures on film and TV talent, extras and crew. It is home to thousands of film and TV workers – and is among the largest concentrations of these workers in the UK.

A film and TV project’s supply chain expenditures are distributed across a wide range of industries – building materials, security services, studio hire, to equipment hire to catering. The purchase of art department materials are the largest single type of spend, followed by location fees, services and security, and production equipment hire.

A 100,000 sq. ft. stage space can deliver between £60 million and £80 million in annual film and TV production expenditure per year. As film and TV productions source a significant amount of supplies and services from a wide range of other industries, the local spend typically accounts for approximately 25% of a film and TV project’s total production budget.

West London is also well-positioned to benefit from supply chain expenditures. The report’s mapping research indicates that there are over 71 companies supporting film production located in West London, including 6 film studios and 65 supply chain companies.

Most film and TV audits only look at job creation, whereas this study looked at the businesses in the film and TV supply chain, and so the wider economic impact of the film and TV industry.

Given the setbacks experienced by the industry in 2023, this report shows the growth potential from the inevitable pent-up demand for production services that are expected in 2024 and beyond.

Bill Boler, Partnerships Director at West London Business and Creative Enterprise West

As a freelance and often transient industry, key statistics regarding benefits for local regions are usually difficult to obtain. So, it’s incredibly useful to have a study that provides the deep-dive data that we all need to highlight the true value of film and TV to West London, the original home of the British film industry. I am delighted to see that this report provides crucial information that will empower the region to invest, resource and ultimately grow our industry in the area to the benefit of local residents and businesses.

Michelle Jenkins, Head of Production Services at Film London

This is an incredibly positive report which stresses the importance of the value and impact of supply chains across our industry to generate the current £6bn+ annual GVA and which is projected to rise to £8bn by 2026 for the UK TV/film industry. Ours is an incredibly integrated ecosystem, which sees all crafts benefitting in an expanding market and it is gratifying to hear the Government restate their commitment to supporting our world-class freelance workforce.

Barry Bassett, Managing Director at VMI.TV Ltd

As the owner of a film studio in Park Royal, it’s exciting to see the tangible impact our creative sector has on the local economy. This study not only underscores the vital role of film and TV studios in driving economic growth but highlights our commitment to fostering a thriving ecosystem that not only supports a diverse array of talents and businesses. Film studios are more than just production spaces; they are heartbeats of local communities, contributing significantly to the cultural and economic vibrancy of West London.

Ryan Dean, Company Director of RD Studios

Hounslow is proud of its strength in the creative industries and our Creative Enterprise Zone – Creative Enterprise West – champions the sector, especially in recognising the importance of film and TV as an opportunity for our residents to enter a world of work with higher skilled and better paid job. This study confirms the benefits of the sector in not just supporting local jobs, but also in the wider supply chain and economic opportunities for local small businesses.

Shantanu Rajawat, Leader of Hounslow Council

For more information, or to download the report, visit the West London Business website here.

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