The Film Friendly Partnership, an agreement to help encourage more film and television production to the county, has been signed by Herefordshire Council and Creative England to support more opportunities for Herefordshire to appear on both the big and small screen.
Bringing TV and film production to Herefordshire not only raises the profile of the county as a tourist destination, it also brings investment into the county in terms of employment, work experience, and for the retail and hospitality industry.
‘Midwinter of the Spirit’, ITV’s dramatization of the Merrily Watkins novels by local author, Phil Rickman was recently filmed in Herefordshire with local landmarks featuring prominently. This brought in an estimated £100,000 to the county’s economy, while visitor numbers to Hereford city and the surrounding area are likely to improve as “Merrily” fans visit the county and follow the ‘Merrily trail’. The council supported ITV by finding filming locations, accommodation, helping with road closures and other permissions for the three-part pilot.
Phil Collinson, producer of Midwinter of the Spirit for ITV drama, said:
“I produced 'Midwinter of the Spirit' in spring 2015. We needed to film extensively in Hereford centre and in various villages around and about. I have to say we found the experience to be a very positive one. Herefordshire Council was very helpful in securing some logistically difficult locations right in the heart of Hereford. Road closures and requests for lighting positions, traffic management - everything was dealt with quickly and efficiently and in a well co-ordinated manner. The surrounding areas offered a huge variety of locations, from pretty villages, churches and farms to more industrial. The whole thing was a very positive experience.”
Councillor Graham Powell, cabinet member for economy said
“It’s time Herefordshire was put on the filming map. The outstanding natural beauty and heritage of the area makes it an attractive prospect for new film projects. The Film Friendly Partnership helps us promote the county and shows our commitment to make Herefordshire the natural choice for production companies.”
Hereford Cathedral has regularly been used as a location in TV and film and is a jewel in Herefordshire’s crown; the contrasts of the historical, a variety of stunning landscapes and more contemporary settings make Herefordshire a fascinating and distinct destination.
Kaye Elliott, Creative England’s deputy director of regional partnerships, said:
“Creative England work hard to promote the wealth of world-class locations, studios and crew across the English regions, which creates extensive economic, job creation and profile raising benefits for England. We’re delighted Herefordshire Council has affirmed its commitment to working with us. This will ensure the fantastic studios, crew, facilities and locations on offer across Herefordshire will be profiled and supported, which will bring more film and TV production to the county in 2016 and beyond.”
Herefordshire Council’s role within the partnership will be to identify prospective locations, continue to support and to handle permissions to film within the county. Creative England will be the official agency working for and on behalf of the British Film Institute and the UK Government, to promote and support production companies using the Herefordshire area both nationally and internationally.
For more information please visit www.herefordshire.gov.uk/filming
Stephen Badham senior production liaison manager (L) , Creative England and Councillor Graham Powell, (R) Herefordshire cabinet with the partnership agreement in the shadow of the beautiful Hereford Cathedral