Northumberland signs Film Friendly Charter in partnership with North East Screen to reaffirm the county’s commitment as a film friendly destination.

The charter shows Northumberland’s commitment to working in partnership with North East Screen to make the North East a filming friendly region. This recognises the positive economic and cultural benefits hosting filming activity has on Northumberland, aiming to maximise benefits and make it a positive experience for everyone involved.

Northumberland has seen great success from filming locations, from Alnwick Castle’s role as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, to Sycamore Gap’s reputation as ‘The Robin Hood Tree’ following its cameo in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. More recently, Vera regularly creates a buzz when filming takes place in Northumberland’s sweeping landscapes, Harrison Ford caused a stir when he was spotted at Bamburgh Castle during filming for Indiana Jones, and Bamburgh Beach offered a breathtaking backdrop for the Lloyd’s bank advert as the iconic black horse galloped along the beach.   

Andrew Fox, chair of Visit Northumberland, said, “Filming opportunities are so important for Northumberland due to the everlasting impact that filming locations have on tourism and encouraging visitors to explore new destinations after seeing them on the screen. In 2021 alone, economic investment to the county from productions filmed in Northumberland amounted to almost £10 million (an average of £27,200 per day) on crew and technical staff, cast and extras, hotels, catering and many other services.

“Northumberland couldn’t be more suited to the screen, with outstanding scenery to offer an incredible backdrop for any film or series and historical buildings that can be adapted for all genres. With its track record of fantasy fiction, historical and modern epics and TV series, there are endless filming opportunities in a county as diverse as Northumberland.”

Northumberland County Council Leader Glen Sanderson said: “This county is very much open for business and this charter cements our commitment as a film friendly destination.

“We’ve a long history of welcoming productions of all sizes, from small independent film-makers through to regional and national television and huge blockbuster movies. Northumberland is a unique place  – full of history, castles, wide open spaces, golden beaches, hills and mountains and above all very friendly people – what a backdrop for any work of art!

“We sincerely hope this charter will raise the profile of our beautiful county to an even wider audience.”

Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive of North East Screen said, “We are working closely with the North East Screen Industries Partnership and the BBC to encourage and promote filming across the North East. We want all parts of our region to benefit. It is important that each local authority area is committed to welcome production crews and make the process of filming as smooth as can be. North East Screen will support them to do this. 

“The economic and tourism benefits of a production filming in our area and the jobs it can create for local crew, as well as local businesses across the supply chain, is something we don’t want any part of the North East to miss out on.

“We are delighted that Northumberland has signed up to the charter and look forward to working with them to encourage more filming in the county.

Next month, Visit Northumberland is set to champion Northumberland alongside North East Screen and other regional destinations at Focus Film, an annual showcase of filming destinations to the film and production industry.

Andrew Fox, chair of Visit Northumberland, Councillor Jeffrey Watson, portfolio holder for Healthy Lives and board member of Visit Northumberland, Councillor Glen Sanderson, Leader of Northumberland County Council, Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive of North East Screen

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