Netflix’s raunchy period drama Bridgerton, the David Attenborough series Our Planet and upcoming Aardman animation Robin, Robin, have helped contribute more than £132 million to the economy in the south west of England, the streaming service has said.
Period dramas Persuasion, starring Dakota Johnson, and Rebecca, starring Lily James, which were also filmed in the region, have also contributed to the financial boost, the service said, citing an independent analysis of production spend.
The UK is Netflix’s biggest production hub outside the United States, with a content budget of $1 billion (£740 million) in 2020 and more than 60 shows in production and more than 10,000 jobs for cast and crew.
Bridgerton, which stars Phoebe Dynevor and Nicola Coughlan, is filmed in Bath and has been credited with helping the city enjoy a post-pandemic boost to tourism.
The city has said the show will help generate at least £1.5 million for the local economy due to its success.
Productions have also offered boosts to more than 500 businesses across the South West, creating 1,000 jobs across the UK supply chain.
Anna Mallett, vice president of physical production for Netflix in EMEA/UK, said: “We’ve long known that the south west of England is a creative powerhouse.
“Its highly skilled and versatile workforce, sumptuous landscapes and state of the art facilities make it a natural home for Netflix productions, from agenda-setting natural history documentaries to the most talked-about drama.
“We’re committed to the south west for the long term, and proud that the shows we’ve made over the last two years have contributed over £132 million to the UK economy, created over 1,000 jobs and generated opportunities for local communities.”
Dan Norris, west of England mayor added: “We’ve got some amazingly talented people here in the west of England and our facilities are top notch.
“That’s why our reputation in the creative industries grows day by day. It’s something local people can be rightly proud of.
“It is good to see Netflix and other production companies investing in our fantastic region bringing high-skilled jobs.
“Shows like Bridgerton, and a favourite of mine, David Attenborough: Our Planet, are watched and adored by viewers across the globe. They truly help put our area on the map.
“That’s good news for our region and for UK PLC.”
Later on in the year, Netflix will partner with Aardman Animations, which is based in Bristol, on a new programme to encourage emerging and diverse talent to consider a career in animation.
The programme will also support the professional development of those already in the sector, and will include schools outreach, free animation courses and trainee places on Netflix Aardman productions.
Paula Newport, Aardman’s director of people and culture, said: “Supporting careers in animation for emerging and diverse talent has become a real focus at Aardman, and we are absolutely delighted to be partnering with Netflix to extend the reach of our efforts.
“Thanks to this partnership, we will be able to develop brand new, outreach schemes for under-18s keen to explore a future in animation, as well as increase the impact of some of our existing initiatives, for example, offering more trainee roles across our major productions and more bursary places on our Aardman Academy professional training courses.
“The range of opportunity is huge, from creative and production roles to technical fields like VFX to marketing and business functions, and we are so excited about finding and working with the next wave of talent.”