Kingston Council has made more than £235,000 from top television shows such as the BBC One dramas ‘The Capture’ and ‘MotherFatherSon’ filming on its land and buildings since 2016.

The information was revealed in a Freedom of Information Request to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, which showed the most money was made in the period 2018-2019 – worth nearly £70,000. 

A further £59,000 has been made so far this year, compared to just £40,000 back in 2016/17. 

Certain locations seem to be popular, with the Cambridge Road Estate cropping up in a number of shows including ‘The Capture,’ and ‘MotherFatherSon,’ and adverts like ‘Action For Children.’ 

It was previously known for being a regular feature in the ITV police drama, The Bill.

In many of these instances the estate is featured as a particularly ‘run down’ area prompting some criticism from locals.

Harry Hall, Chair of Cambridge Road Estate Resident’s Association, said this can misrepresent the estate, but overall he is “generally okay” with filming, especially since film crews began to give donations to the residents’ association and community groups to help improve the area. 

“It’s only residents and people in the borough who know where the Cambridge Road Estate is, so the difficulty is the Cambridge Road Estate does have a bad reputation, mainly from the ‘80s when it was bad,” said Harry.

“But because it does have a bad reputation I suppose seeing Cambridge Estate in any violent or negative way, like in Top Boy [a Channel 4 Crime drama] which was filmed there, where lots of things like guns and knives are used, it does perpetuate the negative idea towards the estate. 

“But at the same time we’ve also had light-hearted things such as the Sky One programme with Idris Elba, ‘In the Long Run’. It’s a comedy set in the 1980s, about immigration and stuff.”

The residents’ association and community groups receive donations from between £50-£500 which are used on everything from setting up an internet cafe, to funding community days, challenging council decisions and giving out Christmas presents to children on the estate.

“We try and get as much money back into the community as possible,” said Harry.  

Kingston Council insists most of the money it receives goes towards covering costs incurred by closing roads for film crews, and any leftover money is reinvested into council services.

In a statement a spokesperson said: “Where appropriate and for large scale filming, community groups and residents associations get donations from production companies, which is separate from income the council gets. Income the council receives covers costs incurred by the service for filming (for example, road closures and parking) and any surplus is reinvested into council services.

“FilmFixer are contracted to manage Kingston’s filming contract. Any requests for filming are directed through them; they consider the request before alerting the council before anything is granted.”

Other famous films, television shows and adverts that have been filmed on council land this year include:

Netflix’s ‘Behind Her Eyes’, an upcoming psychological thriller based on the 2017 novel of the same name by Sarah Pinborough, due to come out in 2020. Filming started on the Cambridge Road Estate this year.

The Lidl Christmas commercial was filmed in Southborough Close this year.

Channel 4’s new drama, ‘Adult Material’, will look at the adult porn industry, and was filmed in and around the borough.

The One Show filmed sequences at Cumberland House and Kingston Library

Channel 4 documentary ‘Rich House, Poor House’ was filmed on Clarence Street, Eden Street, Fife Road, Wood Street, Norbiton Common Road, Kingston High Street and London Road


The Waitrose Christmas advert was filmed at the Guildhall and Kingston Historic Market

Season 10 of the Comedy ‘Not Going Out’ was filmed on Kingston Road


‘Mamma Mia 2’ filmed some scenes at Southborough House


Drama ‘Silent Witness’ filmed along Langley Avenue in Surbiton

‘Black Mirror’ filmed in several locations in the borough including Kingston ring road periphery, Wood Street, Fife Road, Castle Street, Skerne Road, Canbury Passage and Canbury Place Car Park