Shropshire Star

Shropshire’s filming locations 'could unlock economic prosperity'

Businesses need to look to capitalise on interest from the television and film industries in Shropshire to unlock economic growth.

Dave Atkinson

That's the view of Dave Atkinson, Regional Director for the West Midlands at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, who believes bringing in more productions to the region can provide massive benefits.

His views come after the recent airing of Apple TV+'s new Dick Turpin drama, starring Noel Fielding as the rogue highwayman featured Ludlow Castle.

Other highlights of the past 18 months have included Shrewsbury featuring in a BBC adaptation of Great Expectations and The Apprentice.

Mr Atkinson said: "At its current rate of growth, the UK’s film industry is set to be second only to Hollywood globally by the end of 2025.

"From a local perspective, these echoes of Hollywood glamour can help to unlock significant investment and job opportunities, while bringing an array of economic and social benefits to our region."

On set for filming of Great Expectations in Shrewsbury

"Film and television productions in Shropshire can contribute to a cycle of local economic growth by hiring local acting talent to employing the army of skilled craftspeople, designers, and artists that work on set.

"Beyond the job opportunities created by the production itself, tourism spend to the region can increase post-filming, as fans flock to visit their favourite set.

"Shrewsbury has already benefited from this following the BBC’s BAFTA-award winning series Time at Shrewsbury Prison, where Sean Bean’s cell was preserved just as it was during filming, to allow visitors a more authentic experience of their favourite show.

"Not only can this level of attraction bring greater footfall to the region, leading to increased revenue for local hotels, restaurants, and shops, but it can also sustain interest over a longer-term, helping to transform the area into a thriving tourist destination."

He added: "It’s always fantastic to see locations from across Shropshire on the big, and small, screens. With its stunning countryside, historical architecture, and quirky backdrops, it’s no surprise that our region is carving out an increasingly desirable name as an important location for the UK filmmaking industry. All of which will shine a spotlight on our fantastic local businesses, too."

Mark Hooper of Visit Shropshire and Film Shropshire said he was seeing a rise in enquiries again about potential filming in the county after a slowing down over the previous eight months, which he says was the same over the country.

"We are creeping back with enquiries now and the economic benefit is huge," he said. "If a film crew of 100 people are stopping here, they are all paying for hotel rooms and the benefits of that alone is huge.

"The opportunities are absolutely huge and we are also seeing things like Masterchef moving to Birmingham.

"I've dropped into conversations with them such as where they get their food from because we have a huge amount of producers in Shropshire.

"If you are thinking about carbon miles, we are a stone's throw away so there are opportunities for food producers here too to benefit, moving forward."

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