GBP12 million expansion commences for Bristol’s Bottle Yard Studios
The Bottle Yard Studios in Bristol is expanding into a neighbouring industrial site. Scheduled for completion this summer, the film and television production facility will undergo a GBP12 million redevelopment supported by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA). This expansion is designed to create three new audio stages, increasing the total stages on offer to 11 and, in turn, maintaining the growth of media production infrastructure in Bristol and the West of England.
“It is great to see the expansion work starting at The Bottle Yard Studios,” says the Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees. “Our £1.6m investment in the current site, coupled with the additional capacity at the Hawkfield site, once developed, will bring confidence to the city’s film and TV production sector and harness growth as the demand for on-screen content grows worldwide. The expansion will also create jobs, skills and training opportunities, support the local supply chain and be a major boost to our wider regeneration plans for south Bristol, bringing growth and opportunity into the area.”
“This expansion is big news for Bristol’s film and TV sector,” elaborates Laura Aviles, the Senior Film Manager for Bristol City. “Upping The Bottle Yard’s stage count from eight to 11 at a time when space for filming is at a premium, means we can welcome more of the productions we know are keen to film in Bristol, a city that saw a 225% increase in filming in the first quarter of the current financial year. We’re making sure Bristol seizes the opportunities presented by the UK production boom with both hands, so that local crew, companies and new generations of talent can reap the benefits in employment, business and skills development.”
Global construction specialists ISG have been contracted by Bristol City Council to convert the industrial property - located at Hawkfield Business Park, less than half a mile from the main Bottle Yard site - into the three new sound stages. Operations at The Bottle Yard’s main site were also been boosted by a further GBP1.6m investment by Bristol City Council for renewal and repair works. This financial injection is intended to make the Studios’ existing buildings fit for purpose for the facility’s 10-year business plan. It is anticipated that investment in the current site as well as new studio provision at Hawkfield Business Park will create 135 jobs during the refurbishment. A further 863 jobs will be created over the next 10 years through an accompanying Workforce Development Programme, focusing on high-end TV skills and targeting development of new talent in South Bristol.
Sustainability has been placed at the heart of the design and build process of the expansion site. Energy supplies for the converted buildings are supported by a large photovoltaic array, improved insulation and a sophisticated building management system created to ensure energy conservation. Transport around the complex’s expanded footprint will be carbon neutral, with electric vehicle points and ample cycling provision supporting low carbon movement. The expansion programme is also set to bring added benefits to local people through a series of training, skills and employability activities, apprenticeship opportunities and community project support, co-ordinated by ISG as part of their contract.
“This highly significant creative arts scheme for Bristol is yet another example of smart and efficient procurement practice – fast-tracking the project to site through the use of the high-performing Southern Construction Framework (SCF),” explains the Regional Director for ISG, Richard Skone. “The sustainable Bottle Yard Studios development will prove transformative to the capacity and capability of the region’s media sector and, during the construction phase, will prioritise positive social value outcomes for local residents and the wider community. As the UK continues to benefit from a renaissance in investment in the creative arts sector, ISG brings significant expertise to this high-profile and ambitious project.”
“I’m incredibly proud of the investment that the West of England Combined Authority I lead is making here," states Dan Norris, Mayor of the West of England. "It’s a fantastic space and the progress in getting it ready is remarkable. The expansion of The Bottle Yard Studios sends a strong message that our amazing creative sector here in the West of England is thriving. So many talented people are helping put our region on the national and international map as a go-to location for the film and TV industry. Three new stages will mean even more of our favourite shows like The Outlaws, Poldark and Showtrial can be filmed here. This vote of confidence in the West of England will create a thousand high skilled jobs and should help us to attract even more production companies. I look forward to watching lots of new shows hit our screens, and I’ll enjoy them even more knowing they are made in the West of England.”
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