COVID-19 has caused unprecedented changes to film and TV production around the world. In the UK, nearly all production has halted. At this time of extreme uncertainty, we know that many of you in Bristol have either lost work, or face losing work. We know that the Government measures announced on 20th March do not go far enough to provide the vital support needed by self-employed workers and freelancers in this sector.

We want you to know that Bristol Film Office and The Bottle Yard Studios (divisions of Bristol City Council) are lobbying on behalf of Bristol’s production community at the highest level. We are liaising with Bristol City Council’s Economic Development team, senior leaders, councillors, local MPs and local/national sector bodies, to make sure the needs of the workforce in this sector are fully represented during city and regional planning.

Yesterday, the Chancellor said that he is looking at support for self-employed in “intense detail” and that he is “in dialogue with all the key stakeholder groups”. An amendment to the Coronavirus Bill has been put forward, proposing statutory self-employment pay to cover the lower of £2,917 or 80% of a self-employed/freelance person’s monthly earnings, averaged over the last three years. The Chancellor is expected to make a further announcement on this tomorrow (26 March). We will update you as the situation develops.

Please read the latest update about restrictions on location filming in Bristol here. If you’d like to reach out to us with your comments, please email

Bristol Film Office & The Bottle Yard Studios

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