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Screen Cornwall figures reveal film and TV production worth £5m to local economy

Aug 25, 2023

New figures released by Screen Cornwall show that film and TV production was worth more than £5million to the Cornish economy in 2022. The figures are taken from the first economic impact analysis into the Gross Value Added (GVA) of film and TV production in the region that the screen agency has produced since its formation in 2019. In addition, Screen Cornwall can today announce that it has secured a funding boost of almost £400,000 from the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Screen Cornwall will use the funding to drive growth in Cornwall’s film sector and raise the profile of Cornish media, including Cornish language content. It will also extend its outreach and talent development programme, which offers people from a diverse range of backgrounds the chance to take their first steps into the industry.

Beyond Paradise

 Economic impact figures were calculated for Screen Cornwall by Olsberg•SPI using Creative England’s Local Economic Impact Toolkit. The analysis found that there were 422 filming days and 101 pre-production days in Cornwall in 2022, generating an estimated GVA of £5,040,000, an 8% increase on the previous year.* Titles included Beyond Paradise (Red Planet Pictures/BBC One), Strike: Troubled Blood (Bronte Film & TV/BBC One), Malory Towers series 4 (King Bert/CBBC), Doc Martin (Buffalo Pictures/ITV), Fred & Pete’s Treasure Tales (Screen Glue/CBeebies) and feature film Edge Of Summer (Dorothy Street Pictures/BBC Films/BFI).

Screen Cornwall’s managing director Laura Giles says: “For the first time, we have a reliable estimate of what film and TV production is worth financially to Cornwall’s economy. £5million is a significant contribution for our rurally dispersed sector. Momentum continues to grow for both location filming and independent production, so this funding boost comes at an important time. A diverse and robust talent pipeline is vital to developing a healthy screen ecosystem, so people are at the heart of our vision for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to become the UK’s most vibrant rurally dispersed content production region.”

£395,650 has been awarded to Screen Cornwall from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The money was allocated from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Good Growth Cultural Events and Talent Programme, which has been earmarked for £4.4m of investment from Cornwall and Scilly’s three-year £132m Shared Prosperity Fund allocation. Cornwall Council has been chosen by Government as the lead authority for the fund.

ENYS MEN

Cllr Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for economy, said: “We know from Screen Cornwall’s research that there are more than 270 companies active across film, television, video production, equipment hire and digital games in Cornwall, and we want to foster the growth of those businesses and the screen sector as a whole. At the same time, we want to celebrate our unique cultural heritage by encouraging more indigenous Cornish language filmmaking and this project will help achieve all those aims.”

Funded activity will include expanding the annual Cornish language FylmK commission for a short film in Kernewek, funding companies to develop longer form content in partnership with industry and greater engagement with the wider Celtic screen industry through the Celtic Media Festival. There will also be a drive to make authentic Cornish content more accessible to both local, visitor and Kernowphile audiences.  

This builds on a successful pilot of filmmaking workshops funded by Cornwall Council in 2022, connecting activity with community support organisations through to strategic industry partnerships such as BFI Network and ScreenSkills as well as production companies. Screen Cornwall will also continue to build links with local education providers so that new entrants can build essential credits on their CV, which is vital in retaining talent in the region. These areas of activity around Cornish language, culture, and heritage media representation on screen, follow recommendations made in Screen Cornwall’s 2019 A Case for a Cornish Public Service Media report.

The successful funding bid follows Screen Cornwall’s Catalysing the Cornish Screen Sector report, published in January. Produced by Olsberg•SPI and funded by the BFI, the report concluded that the screen industry in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has the potential to become a “cluster of national significance”. It detailed how the recent success of domestic independent filmmaking rooted in Cornish heritage – such as Mark Jenkin’s BAFTA-winning 2019 debut Bait, and 2022 follow up Enys Men – coupled with Cornwall’s long-standing popularity for inbound location filming with international titles like HBO’s House Of The Dragon and most recently a second series of the BBC’s Beyond Paradise, provides a foundation for sustainable growth for businesses, specialist freelancers and creative talent.

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