The BBC director-general visits the Happy Valley set during the Sarah Lancashire finale…
These include BBC/HBO produced Gentleman Jack, which stars Suranne Jones as the heiress of Shibden Hall and lesbian Anne Lister, who has been credited with attracting more tourists in Halifax and Calderdale, including the United States, and dubbed the “Gentleman Jack Effect”.
Figures for 2019 – the last year before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the year in which Sally Wainwright created Gentleman Jack was first screened – showed tourism was worth just under £400million for Calderdale’s economy, a 14% increase from £349. million in 2018.
Other productions that have used Calderdale settings in recent years include other series by Sally Wainwright, Last Tango In Halifax and Happy Valley, the latter wrapping up filming for its third series this spring.
Another BBC production shot in Calderdale, based on the novel by Calder Valley-based author Benjamin Myers, is The Gallows Pole, about 18th century counterfeiters, the Cragg Coiners, who carried on business above Mytholmroyd, is also set to air this year.
Other major attractions in the borough include its stunning landscape and distinctive architecture, including buildings like Halifax’s Grade I-listed Piece Hall, the council said.
Scenes from the Gentleman Jack and Marvel production Secret Invasion, which stars Hollywood legend Samuel L. Jackson, have been filmed there over the past year – with the Piece Hall Trust this month describing the building Grade I listed, revitalized with shops and businesses, as having a major role in kick-starting Calderdale’s economy as it recovers from the first pandemic.
All of this activity led to the council creating the website to show that Calderdale is a ‘cinema friendly’ borough, working closely with Screen Yorkshire, and includes practical information to make the process as easy as possible for potential producers , says the deputy head of the council. Consulting Jane Scullion (Laboratory, Luddenden Foot).
It shows how the council coordinates responses to requests for filming permits, parking, location bases and traffic management.
In return, the productions contribute to promoting the territory – increasingly on a global scale.
“Calderdale is increasingly known as a filming destination, with a variety of major productions filming in the borough in recent years.
“This new website is a great place to learn about the use of Calderdale’s distinctive landscape and built environment in future productions.
“Our film crew has seen a huge increase in requests from production companies and stage managers.
“The small team always goes the extra mile and goes the extra mile to meet these requests and work tirelessly to ensure that film, TV or commercial photography runs as smoothly as possible.
“But don’t just take our word for it, you’ll find interviews with stage managers, directors and actors on the site who will tell you how fantastic Calderdale is as a filming location,” Councilor Scullion said. .
Day and overnight trips to Calderdale in 2019 were up by more than a quarter on the previous year, with around 8.2 million people visiting the borough and the council noted that around £295.8 million of the money spent by tourists in the area directly benefited local businesses. , from hotels and restaurants to cafes, shops and attractions.
That 2019 income is estimated to have supported 7,930 jobs, up 14% from 2018, according to council figures.
The new website brings together useful information for directors, producers, managers and location scouts.
It provides easy access to resources and applications for filming permits and an overview of recent filming.
There is also information on the wide range of outdoor and built-up locations available in Calderdale, including rural, urban and historic options as well as period streets.
The site also includes information on how Calderdale residents or businesses can pitch their premises as a potential filming location, providing opportunities for local people and further highlighting the wide and varied options within the borough for film different types of productions.