Industry success: 2021 saw a record spend in the UK on high-end TV production, according to new figures released by the BFI

11 February, 2022

Here at Screen and Film School, we were delighted to see the recent figures published by the BFI showing that 2021 saw a record spend in the UK on high-end TV production.

As well as this great news surrounding television spending, there is further evidence that our industry is bouncing back following the difficulties of the previous two years. In fact, our very own students have managed to step out once more into the world of live filming. Screen and Film School Brighton graduates Beth Bayes and Ben Hardy have both recently been snapped up to work on productions for Channel 4 and E4, respectively.

Remarkably, the combined spend by film and high-end television production (HETV) during 2021 reached a huge £5.64 billion, the highest ever reported and £1.27 billion higher than for the pre-pandemic year of 2019, BFI’s Research and Statistics Unit has shown. Cinemas also roared back into life, with 74 million individual admissions and £602 million through the UK box office after months of closure in early 2021.

With the rise of streaming platforms, such as Netflix and Amazon, the 2021 production statistics also reveal the increasing investment made by companies such as these in single, long-form productions. In the last calendar year, there were 36 single domestic UK and inward investment productions which contributed £737 million to the total HETV spend of £4.09 billion. These productions included Pinocchio, Matilda: The Musical, Persuasion and Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

This domestic success is particularly relevant to our students – current and graduates – as our expert Industry teams are constantly on the lookout for opportunities on productions such as these, as the experiences of Beth and Ben helps to prove: nothing is out of reach for people who have the skills and are looking to enter the world of work.

Screen and Film School Brighton graduate Beth Bayes


Beth Bayes started working in TV as soon as she graduated from Screen and Film School Brighton in 2018. Now, she is a Production Secretary on Channel 4’s smash hit series, The Great British Bake Off. Beth’s first position was as a Trainee Floor Runner for BBC Studios and then as an Office Runner at local production company, Ricochet – one of Screen and Film School Brighton’s Industry Partners.

Similarly, 2021 graduate Ben Hardy has had a fruitful 12 months, having worked on several music videos, as well as being First Assistant Camera on Can’t Look Away for E4 and as the grip on a BFI and Sky Arts funded Short in Brighton.

Photo by Ben Hardy


Back to the big screen, and the rise in cinema admissions for 2021 compared to the previous year can be partly attributed to the success of No Time To Die, the latest film in the James Bond franchise. We were fortunate enough to welcome Gregg Wilson to Screen and Film School Brighton, who was Associate Producer of the record-breaking No Time To Die, for an inspirational Masterclass at the end of 2021.

Gregg explained that EON productions, the company behind the Bond successes, now insist on putting a trainee into each department. This is encouraging news for our students and alumni entering the industry, as it demonstrates that there are opportunities for new starters like them to progress into feature film productions.

Adrian Wootton, OBE, who is the CEO of the British Film Commission said, “As today’s figures show, the UK is enjoying a once-in-a-generation growth in production. The benefits are being felt right across our nations and regions, with large scale investment in infrastructure and revenue into UK plc that will directly benefit local communities. Existing production hubs are growing to accommodate the demand, and new hubs are developing throughout the UK, bringing with them thousands of new jobs.”

News of the buoyancy of the film landscape in the UK is music to our ears. We will continue to report on all Screen and Film School student success stories in the future.



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