British-made films have provided a "dramatic rise" in the number of visitors to the UK, research has shown.

The UK Film Council claims that stately homes, historic and religious buildings used in movies such as the Harry Potter franchise, The Da Vinci Code, Gosford Park and Pride and Prejudice have boosted the British tourism industry.

A new report says that Alnwick Castle, the location used for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films, has experienced a 120 per cent increase in visitor numbers since the release of the first film, providing an extra £9 million in revenue.

Burghley House – used as the setting for the big-screen version of Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen – is said to have seen its number of visitors increase 20 per cent, while Temple Church, which features in The Da Vinci Code has had a five-fold rise in tourists.

"British films and television programmes play a powerful role in showcasing the UK to the rest of the world and boosting tourism," explained John Woodward, chief executive officer of the UK Film Council.

"There are countless examples of visitors flocking to locations they've seen in films or on TV and the effect can last for years. Miss Potter filmed in the Lake District is already giving Cumbria's tourism a boost and there's more to come with Brideshead Revisited filming at Castle Howard in Yorkshire."

Commenting on the research, Margaret Hodge, the minister for film and tourism, said: "We have beautiful scenery and awe-inspiring buildings across the length and breadth of Britain.

"And our thriving film and television industries provide a platform to show the rest of the world just how much we have to offer. It is a terrific benefit that not only are our films successful, but their locations are becoming destinations in their own right as people seek to relive their favourite movie moments."

27/08/2007 13:30:05