BBC’s The Green Planet Brings Millions to U.K. Economy


According to the BBC’s Bristol Economic Impact report, The Green Planet has boosted the U.K. economy by £7.4 million ($9.2 million).

The report covers BBC Studios NHU’s legacy and how it has acted as a catalyst for growth in Bristol’s production sector. It also delves into the economic impact of the BBC’s wider commissioning strategy, as well as the importance of BBC Studios and the indie sector in the city.

Natural history production made 44.2 percent, or £127.2 million ($158.3 million), of the Bristol screen production industry’s overall £288 million ($358.3 million) turnover in 2022. The BBC is the largest employer within Bristol’s TV and film industry, accounting for 45 percent of production sector roles in 2022.

The report also outlines that Bristol’s screen production workforce grew by 24.5 percent between 2017 and 2022. Bristol’s creative sector rapidly grew by 74 percent between 2015 and 2020, thanks in part to “the presence of a major broadcaster [the BBC]” in the region, according to the University of the West of England at Bristol (UWE Bristol).

In particular, Wild Isles (2023), produced in Bristol by Silverback Films, gave £9 million ($11.2 million) gross value added (GVA) to the U.K. economy, supporting 80 equivalent production roles.

Additionally, over 75 percent of BBC natural history commissions that aired between 2019 to 2022 attracted inward investment.

Kate Phillips, director of unscripted for BBC, said: “We are excited to share the findings of this report. All the critical roles the BBC seeks to play for our audiences—in pursuing truth with no agenda, backing British storytelling and bringing people together—are exemplified in Bristol.

“The BBC’s public-service commissioning, BBC Studios NHU and Factual Entertainment Productions have all helped to boost the city’s economy and employment. We hope that the inspiring developments this report showcases are just the start of the next chapter in the city’s success story.”

Jonny Keeling, head of BBC Studios NHU, added: “Bristol is home to the best wildlife filmmakers in the world. It’s the global hub of natural history production, and programs produced here have reached hundreds of millions of people in all corners of the planet.

“Quite simply, content made in Bristol has inspired a global audience to love and understand the natural world; it’s transformed the way an entire generation views and interacts with nature.”

Steph Marshall, BBC senior head of content production for the West and South West, noted: “Bristol is an important part of the BBC’s global mission to inform, entertain and engage for the digital age. The BBC Studios Natural History Unit in the city has achieved ground-breaking technological innovation, unearthed new discoveries and set the gold standard for all-natural history programming worldwide. Bristol rightfully deserves its reputation as a leader in the industry, and this report proves the BBC’s passion to further boost production outside London.”