The north of England has been under the spotlight this week as a delegation of film and television executives from LA attended a week-long familiarisation tour of the region to meet the local industry, tour studios, facilities and locations across Merseyside, Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.
The familiarisation, or ‘fam’, trip led by the British Film Commission and funded by UKTI’s Northern Powerhouse Fund has been organized on the ground by Creative England. The Production Services team supports and facilitates film and TV production in the regions, including across the North of England. The tour was also supported by key regional partners including Liverpool Film Office, who organized the Merseyside leg of the visit and supporters Dock 10, The Other Planet Post Production, Provision, Welcome to Yorkshire and Manchester City Council as well as Harewood House, Gotham Hotel, Great John Street Hotel, Peckforton Castle and Swinton Park hotel.
Executives from Broad Green Pictures, Dynamic Television, Gaumont Television, HBO Films, Media Rights Capital and Universal Cable Productions attended the trip, and were provided with the opportunity as part of the mission to meet northern based Production Companies, Producers and senior crew to showcase the wealth of talent in the North.
The tour started in Cheshire on Sunday 13th March before moving on to Liverpool where the visitors met the Film Office and viewed locations including the Mersey Tunnel, Liverpool’s famous world heritage Waterfront and North Docks, the business quarter and the city’s Georgian quarter, and then on to Manchester to take in Dock 10 and The Space Project studios and some of the city’s key locations, including Victoria Baths, the Northern Quarter and Manchester Town Hall.
Crossing the Peak District to Yorkshire, Screen Yorkshire, hosted the delegates for a tour of the Yorkshire Studios before the delegation visited some of York’s iconic locations including York Minster, St Williams College and The Shambles. The tour took in the splendour of the Yorkshire Dales and some of the region’s popular locations, including Castle Howard, Malham, Bolton Abbey, Gordale Scar and Aysgarth Falls.
In addition to making essential industry contacts and seeing first-hand how the production industry is set up in the North of England, the delegates enjoyed hospitality provided by some of the region’s most luxurious hotels including Peckforton Castle in Cheshire, Great John’s Street and Hotel Gotham in Manchester, York’s Gray’s Court Hotel and Swinton Park Hotel in Ripon, North Yorkshire.
In the last financial year, the North West of England saw over 2,400 shoot days from drama productions such as 'Peaky Blinders', 'Last Tango in Halifax', 'Our Zoo', 'Scott & Bailey', 'Banana' and 'Cucumber', as well as feature films 'A Monster Calls' and 'Genius', generating an estimated investment of over £23million in the region. Yorkshire’s 881 shoot days on features including features 'Testament of Youth', 'Dad’s Army' and 'The Hunter’s Prayer' and TV dramas 'DCI Banks', 'This is England ’90', 'An Inspector Calls', 'The Syndicate' and 'In the Club', 'Jericho' and 'Happy Valley', generated almost £9million for England’s largest county.
Kaye Elliott, Head of Production Services at Creative England, said:
“It’s great to collaborate with the British Film Commission on the Northern Powerhouse familiarity tour in a bid to bring more film and TV production to the north of England. We have some fantastic studios and facilities here as well as first class crew and of course some stunning locations. There really is no substitute for showcasing the region’s locations first hand, as well as having the opportunity to meet our first class senior crew based in the North.’
Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission and Film London, said:
“The north of England is home to an exceptional concentration of some of the country’s leading creative film and television companies, superb facilities and breathtaking locations. These elements combined with the UK’s generous Creative Sector Tax Reliefs and local incentives make it fertile ground for international productions of all sizes, helping to attract the kind of productions which touch audiences around the world. With the success of the tax reliefs helping grow local infrastructure, develop crew bases and nurture creative talent, it makes complete sense for us to be championing these regional creative industries on the global stage.”
Andrew Critchley, Managing Director, Red Production Company, said:
“As one of the UK's leading independent drama producers, Red Production Company has been producing award winning content in the North of England since 1998. The region is blessed to have some of the best writers, talent and crew, which allows Red to keep producing innovative programming year on year in the North. The Northern Powerhouse inward mission for US TV and Film execs is a clear signal that the North is building its international appeal and Red Production Company are proud to be involved in showcasing the region and reinforcing the North’s offer of world-classlocations, award winning post production companies and highly experienced crew & facilities.”
Barry Ryan, Head of Production at Warp Films, said:
“The Fam Trip was a great opportunity to share knowledge and experience with our American peers and will hopefully be the launching point for a number of formal and informal collaborations.”
Find out more about filming in the North, filming in the regions and filming in the UK by visiting our Production Services page.
- Filming in England