Driving creative innovation and culture-led regeneration through the film industry

The Driving creative innovation and culture-led regeneration through the film industry programme aims to capitalise on the world-leading hub of film and TV studios located in South Hertfordshire to ensure that the wider community benefits from these assets. This project is part-funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.

The project includes three interconnected workstreams to kickstart innovation by supporting the creative industries’ supply chain, invest in creative skills and knowledge exchange, and developing a series of brand-new screen tourism products to support the rebuild of Hertfordshire’s visitor economy.

In 2016 research published by the British Film Institute found that inbound tourists to the UK spent an estimated £597.7 million in film-related screen tourism. In Hertfordshire alone, Creative England data has shown that location filming was worth £20 million to the local economy in 2016/17.

With established studios already at Elstree and Leavesden, along with investment in the new Sky Studios in Hertsmere, Hollywood’s Sunset Studios in Broxbourne, and proposals for Hertswood Studios, partners across the destination are working closely to ensure that it can best maximise the opportunities presented to local businesses and residents by providing a wrap-around supply chain delivering world-class skills, innovation, and workforce development.

Hertfordshire is home to a burgeoning film and TV sector which has attracted over £3.7bn of new private sector investment in the past 12 months. Hollywood’s Sunset Studios choosing to locate its new £700m base in Broxbourne, is set to create over 4,500 permanent jobs with an estimated contribution of £300m p/a to the local economy. Further to this, Comcast’s £3bn investment in Sky Studios Elstree will create over 2,000 jobs, while at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, three new sound stages are being built, providing 83,000 sq. ft. of additional production space.

Led by Hertfordshire’s official destination management organisation Visit Herts, along with project partners at the Hertfordshire Growth Hub and the University of Hertfordshire, this new programme is one of five successful bids to have been put forward for the UK Community Renewal Fund by Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. This project has received £828,229 from the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.

The project’s screen tourism development programme will draw upon some of the key strengths, opportunities, and gaps of screen tourism for Hertfordshire, identified as part of a Screen Tourism Product Audit conducted this year by Visit Herts and expert Seren Welch.

Activity planned as part of the programme for the coming months includes the creation of a creative industries grants funding programme offering grants of up to £5,000 to support innovation with a focus on the film and TV production supply chain, and a package of specialist and technical support for businesses in the creative industries to enable growth. It will also include a CPD programme to upskill the creative industry workforce and close skills gaps, knowledge exchange between industry and academia to increase innovation in training and build strong links within the destination and the development of cast and crew accommodation and packages. Further to this, the programme will comprise the development of new screen tourism products with tourism businesses through an intensive grant-supported product development programme with specialist support, access to production facilities, content creation, marketing, distribution, and grants of up to £8,000.

About the UK Community Renewal Fund

The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.

Click here for more information and resources on-screen tourism

Click here to download the full Press Release 

Click here for more information and to apply for the Screen Tourism Development programme