Cameras to roll as major new TV drama comes to Calderdale

Calderdale’s growing reputation as a film and television location takes another huge boost as work gets underway to film a major new Channel 4 drama in the borough next year.

Well-known landmarks and local faces are set to hit our screens in 2016, with filming for the original primetime series (working title ‘The ABC’) due to kick off in spring. It is anticipated that the stories will be told over a number of series.

The drama is based in a fictional multicultural secondary school, offering a funny and revealing insight into the daily drama of the teachers, teenagers and families whose lives and cultures collide. It is created by award-winning writer Ayub Khan Din (‘East is East’) and is being produced by Lawrence Till, whose credits include ‘Shameless’ and ‘Mr Selfridge’.

Calderdale Council, Creative England and The Forge Entertainment have joined forces to bring this huge filming opportunity to the area and maximise the benefits for local people.

The former St Catherine’s School in North Halifax will provide the backdrop for the school scenes, as well as a base for the film crew. Scenes will also be shot in various locations across Calderdale, showcasing our fantastic scenery. 

The filming of the show is expected to bring a massive financial investment to our local economy. This will come from cast and crew using local businesses at the time of production, and as a result of raising Calderdale’s profile with a wide audience, with an expected increase in visits and long-term economic benefits.

This comes after the Council’s Cabinet approved the new Visitor Economy Strategy 2015 – 2018, which aims to harness the potential of Calderdale and sustain the upward trend in visits and spend. 

The filming will also bring learning, employment, business and community benefits to the area, including work experience for young people in television production. 

The Council and The Forge Entertainment are working together to ensure that filming activity is environmentally friendly and meets BAFTA’s eco-friendly industry standards.

Cllr Steve Sweeney, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, warmly welcomes the filming.

“Hosting such a major production is a huge success for Calderdale and I can’t wait for filming to start. We are delighted to be working with The Forge Entertainment and Creative England to make this happen, and to secure economic and community benefits that will be felt for years to come. It’s really exciting that local people will have lots of ways to get involved. We have stunning locations all across the borough and it’s great to see more and more film crews heading our way, showcasing Calderdale to national and international audiences.”

Lawrence Till, Series Producer for The ABC, said:

“Having looked at a range of locations across the greater North, from Liverpool to Hull, we finally decided that Halifax and the wider Calderdale region offered us the greatest opportunities. I am looking forward to working closely with the Council and local community to bring this exciting new drama to the screen for several years.”

In 2012 Calderdale Council signed up to be a ‘Film Friendly’ partner of Creative England, which is a national organisation that works with local authorities to identify filming locations and help facilitate filming whilst it’s happening. Through this positive relationship, Calderdale has secured high-profile television series such as ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ and ‘Happy Valley’.

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