Film and photography permissions
Contact the Film Team
Joanna Burnaby-Atkins: 020 7332 3202
Mick Bagnall: 020 7332 3182
Guidelines to filming on the public highway in the City of London
Filming with a small crew
It's not necessary to submit an application if you are:
- filming with a small crew (less than five people)
- keeping to public walkway
- using portable camera and equipment only
- not causing any obstruction, danger or offence to others
- have suitable public liability insurance
- have carried out a risk assessment
- are aware of and have read the Film Makers Code of Practice
However, if you submit an application we can improve your filming experience by advising you on any of the areas you wish to film: if they at are private property, outside our borough or may conflict with another film crew. Also, we can issue you with a document called Notice of No Objection, which is useful to show to private security personnel and City Police officers who may stop you to find out what you are doing.
Please note that we issue a Notice of No Objection for small, portable filming on the streets where no equipment or traffic control licences are required. We do not reserve streets and do not carry out a street works check for small shoots and street works could be booked in at any time up to the date of your shoot.
Filming on City Corporation private property
If you wish to film on City Corporation private property please contact the Film team, via the email below, in the first instance. This applies to all filming and photography regardless of crew size.
Popular City of London owned properties in the City of London include:
- Tower Bridge, Millennium Bridge, London Bridge, Southwark Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge
- Most parks and gardens in the City
- Guildhall and Guildhall Yard
- Leadenhall Market and Smithfield Market
- The Old Bailey
- Mansion House
- The Barbican Centre and the Barbican Estate
- Golden Lane Estate
- Middlesex Street Estate
If your application is successful, we will send you a Contract to Film on Private Property which you will need to return before filming starts.
If you wish to film on private land belonging to other land owners you will need to obtain first the consent of the landlord.
Examples of private land in the City of London include
- City churches
- Museum of London
- Broadgate Estate
- Network Rail Stations
- London Underground Stations
- New Street Square
- Aviva Square
- Forecourt areas and squares attached to buildings (such as St Pauls Cathedral, Aviva, etc.)
- Inner and Middle Temple
You may be charged for filming on City bridges
- Millennium Bridge
- London Bridge
- Southwark Bridge
- Blackfriars Bridge
Only small crews filming on these locations can do so free of charge, for up to 30 minutes only. There will still be an application fee.
Tower Bridge is situated just outside the City’s boundaries but it is privately owned by the City Corporation and if you wish to film on or in the Bridge you will need to submit an application. A location fee will be charged.
If you wish to film Tower Bridge from a vantage point nearby
Please be aware that the land to the north of the bridge is in the borough of Tower Hamlets and the land to the south is in the borough of Southwark. Most of the land around the Bridge is however owned by a variety of different organisations, most of whom charge for filming on their land.
A document showing different vantage points of the Bridge and details of who the relevant landowners are, is published on the Film London website
If you prefer not to pay any fees and don't mind being a bit further back from the Bridge then you should look at camera positions suggested on the Film London website. These are all public walkway in the City and there would be no fee to film from these spots.
- No dispensation is given for winniebagos or catering vehicles.
- Cranes are not permitted and tracking is only permitted in very few, quiet, pedestrian areas.
- It is rare for a hoarding licence to be issued on a weekday between 7am - 7pm.
- Filming that requires police assistance will rarely be permitted on weekdays.
Film Production Companies are not permitted to hold up traffic without prior agreement with the City Corporation.
Intermittent Traffic Control can only be carried out by qualified traffic management personnel. Traffic Management plans, indemnity and public liability insurance must be received a minimum of six weeks in advance of the filming date, but we advise as much notice as possible as it can take several weeks to process an application.
Road closures require a minimum 12 weeks’ notice. A Traffic Management Plan, indemnity and copy of public liability insurance must have been received by us no later than 12 weeks before the date the closure is required, however we advise as much notice as possible as it can take several weeks to process an application.
Bays and dispensations may only be suspended for the purpose of essential equipment vehicles and are not for personal vehicles.
During the working week (Monday - Friday 7am - 7pm) requests must be limited to essential technical vehicles only and not include Winniebagos and catering vehicles.
A minimum of seven working days will be required to process and issue a moderate amount of dispensations / bay suspension requests.
Productions with a large parking requirement should allow the following:
- 10 plus vehicles or more than 5 bay suspension – two weeks’ notice
- 20 plus vehicles or more than 10 bay suspensions – three weeks’ notice
Should you wish to film with a low loader, a tracking vehicle or any other vehicle, please note that your vehicle and any parts attached to it must be fully roadworthy, licensed and insured.
Any vehicle must follow all road regulations at all times and cause no obstruction or danger to any other vehicle or pedestrian.
Both the Metropolitan Police and the City of London Police have tightened up their checks on such vehicles due to recent incidents involving vehicles that were not safe or were over the legal size/weight restrictions.
If you require that your vehicle should do anything out of the ordinary or cause a temporary hold-up of any kind, this can only be done with police assistance which must be booked a minimum of two weeks in advance.
For more information contact the Film Team.
Should you have any equipment that is not immediately portable (tracking, heavy props, scaffold towers), a Hoarding Licence is required and permission must be granted in advance. This costs £400.
This is usually done at a site meeting, when you will be given the necessary application form. In order for your licence to be approved we advise your application is submitted a minimum of 10 working days prior to your filming date.
Police service is required at any film or photo shoot that involves any of the following
- replica firearms or emergency service vehicles, or actors dressed as policemen, firemen or military personnel
- any SFX that could be considered hazardous (smoke/wind/etc) or that could cause concern to the general public, surrounding residential and business communities
- any activity that is generally considered to be illegal, hazardous or to have a disproportionate effect on the community
If Police are required, they may wish to attend a recce prior to the booking. This can be arranged by the Film Team and once your requirement has been agreed they will provide you with a copy of the relevant application forms.
You will then have to book your Police service a minimum of three weeks before the date of filming.