What traders affected by Bridgerton filming in Bath really think of it

Bridgerton is set for its big Christmas Day release, more than a year since it was filmed in Bath.

Last year, the city’s streets were abuzz with reports that filming for the period drama was happening, with plenty of stars spotted in the street.

For several months, film crews were routinely seen in Bath dressed up in incredible period costumes, causing roads to be closed for filming.

But the presence of the rich and famous did not go down well with all businesses, with many in and around the Margaret Buildings area saying that the filming had negatively affected trade.

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Tanya Haughton-Allen, owner of the independent shop Uber Clothing, said her takings went down by half.

Speaking at the time of filming, she said: “I don’t begrudge them filming here but I think they should consider compensation, certainly for the charity shop or do something for the street.”

There were calls for compensation and claims that parking restrictions, parking suspensions and ‘cordoned off’ areas, used to film Bridgerton, hurt them financially.

We revisited Margaret Buildings to see how businesses felt about the show now, one year on and ahead of it’s Christmas day premiere.

Filming of Netflix Bridgerton series – Royal Crescent, Bath
(Image: Artur Lesniak/Reach)

Last year, Giuseppe Calascione of Figo hair salon, which has been in Bath for 20 years, was one of the people agreeing that compensation should be given.

Yet Mr Calascione, 50, has had a change of heart after this most difficult year.

He said: “At that time it didn’t help. Obviously now it’s a different time with this situation we have at the moment.

“Obviously in Margaret’s Buildings, we do need some kind of advertising because it’s a cut-through road. We need some form of recognition. So that time was actually a good thing that was done.

“Hopefully in the future, they’ll do another one!”

Figo hair saloon on Margaret Buildings in Bath
(Image: Google)

Mr Calascione added: “Since then the game has changed completely.

“I will be the first one to watch it. I would like to see it because it was beautifully set up! I say this laughing, but it was fantastic.

“I do like antiques myself. And I like the retro-looking stuff. I felt like I was part of it.”

‘I will be the first one to watch it’

Ashley Gray, director at fashion and textiles shop Gray M.C.A, said she did not think it had much of an impact.

She said: “I can only speak for one business but I can’t claim there was a massive drop in people coming through.

“We always get a really good run of people through Margaret’s Buildings.

“And I have to be honest, the more this corner of Bath appears in these features, series, and the like, the more interested people are in visiting Bath.

“The combination with the Covid situation also meant that people were coming to Bath as a sort of ‘staycation’.”

Filming of Netflix’s new Bridgerton series – Royal Crescent, Bath.| Photographer: Artur Lesniak/arturlesniak.com | Date: 26/09/2019 | Copyright: Artur Lesniak/Reach

She added: “We’ve at least seen some business taking place in between lockdowns and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing it on television just after Christmas.

“I have to be honest, anything that promotes Bath, anything that brings people here to the city has got to be good for business.

“Speaking for this business, as I say, anything that shines that spotlight on Bath has got to be good.”

The Green Bird Cafe agreed that filming was a good thing for business as the film crew bought all their coffee from them.

Claire Hunton, 42 said: “It was great as they had an account with us and they would come and buy about 30 coffees at once for the crew.”

All episodes of Bridgerton will be available to watch on Netflix on December 25.

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