Rise in filming days boosts Suffolk economy

  • News

David Copperfield The economy of the county of Suffolk received a major boost with total filming days in 2019 up by 12% compared to the previous year. 

Suffolk's dedicated regional film office, Screen Suffolk, was set up in late 2016, a year in which there were just 20 filming days per year. That figure rose to 140 days last year. 

Screen Suffolk, which manages 450 locations across the county, estimates that around £11,500 per filming day is generated for the local economy – equating to a spend of £1.6m in 2019. 

Last year proved a purple patch for Suffolk as several high-profile films headed to film in the locale. 
Danny Boyle’s Yesterday starring Himesh Patel shot scenes in locations such as Shingle Street, Dunwich, Halesworth and Lowestoft. 

Yesterday Yesterday filming at Shingle Street 

Period feature The Dig starring Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan also filmed extensively in the area to tell the story of the famous Sutton Hoo archaeological excavation. The production team used Suffolk locations including Butley and Thorpeness, and set up a production base at Snape Maltings.  

Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield (pictured, top) filmed extensively in Bury St Edmunds last summer. Angel Hill was used, as was Chequers Square, doubling for Victorian London. The feature also utilised the Theatre Royal. 

The Wildman of Orford
  The Wildman of Orford shoot on Aldeburgh beach 

Rachel Aldridge, operations and business development manager for Screen Suffolk, said: “Each separate borough and district has something unique to offer. In west Suffolk we have historic Bury St Edmunds, mid Suffolk has one of the most picturesque villages in the UK - medieval Lavenham - east Suffolk has fabulous beaches and Ipswich has dramatic cityscapes and the docks. You can find everything you need for your film, tv show or photo shoot here.”

Jim Horsfield, also operations and business development manager, commented: “The foresight of all the council’s coming together to setup a film office is now paying dividends to our local economy.

"We have seen an increase in the locations available, bringing in more productions which then gives opportunities and boosts skills for talented cast and crew.”

Photos via Screen Suffolk. 


Also on The Knowledge

KFTV Talk: Is sustainable production possible?

The Knowledge's sister site KFTV is hosting a webinar called Is Sistainable Production Possible? on Wednesday December 1 at 16:00 BST with some of the biggest industry names in sustainability and production set to discuss all the key issues affecting the industry.

Read More »

Bristol production bounces back after ‘expected’ dip

New figures released by Bristol Film Office show that the city region generated £12.6m by filming in 2020-2021, with production levels bouncing back strongly after the Covid-driven hiatus. A total of 653 filming days was recorded at Bristol locations and/or at The Bottle Yard Studios in 2020-21.

Read More »