Town’s star­ring role in film

Macclesfield Express - - BARLOW’S BRIEF - ALEX HIB­BERT

MAC­CLES­FIELD’S star­ring role as a hotspot for film crews and Hol­ly­wood heavy­weights has helped pump more than £2m into Cheshire East’s econ­omy.

This year view­ers saw Christ Church in the town used as the set­ting for a cli­matic show­down be­tween Sam Neill and Cil­lian Murphy in the ac­claimed BBC drama Peaky Blin­ders. And in Au­gust block­buster film The Mes­sen­ger, fea­tur­ing model Lily Cole, Hol­ly­wood star Joely Richard­son and up-and-com­ing Bri­tish ac­tors Robert Shee­han and Jack Fox, was also filmed around the town.

The Real House­wives of Cheshire, an ITV re­al­ity show about the lives of glam­orous women liv­ing in Prest­bury, Alder­ley Edge and Wilm­slow, will also be shown in the new year on Free­view chan­nel ITVBe, and BAFTA award win­ning cam­era­man James Ni­cholas also filmed his first fea­ture-length film on lo­ca­tion in Bolling­ton.

Al­to­gether across Cheshire East this year crews have shot for more than 130 days’, spend­ing an es­ti­mated £1.99mil­lion. In 2013 only 65 days of film­ing took place, gen­er­at­ing an es­ti­mated £1.04m.

Coun Michael Jones, leader of Cheshire East Coun­cil, said: “Film crews spend money on ac­com­mo­da­tion and ser­vices, which is a di­rect ben­e­fit to lo­cal busi­nesses and the res­i­dents who work for them.

“That is why I am so pleased to see that Cheshire East has been so suc­cess­ful in at­tract­ing film pro­duc­ers to the bor­ough. “To dou­ble the num­ber of days film­ing in the space of a year is a fan­tas­tic achieve- ment.”

The es­ti­mated fig­ures are cal­cu­lated by Cheshire East Coun­cil’s film and TV part­ner Cre­ative Eng­land, which pro­vides free support to pro­duc­tions film­ing in Eng­land.

Coun Janet Jack­son, mayor of Mac­cles­field and ward coun­cil­lor for town cen­tre, said: “This is great news for the town.

“We have dis­cussed at meet­ings how to at­tract more pro­duc­tion crews into the town and it would be amaz­ing to think that this new sta­tus could see an ac­tual drama spe­cific to Mac­cles­field be­ing cre­ated.

“Places that have had that be­fore have cre­ated in­dus­try out of it and it is a mas­sive boost to the lo­cal econ­omy.

“This area is so lovely and has so much go­ing for it - the her­itage build­ings, the character, land­scape, for­est and lit­tle vil­lages, it re­ally does have ev­ery­thing.

“Now we have Me­di­aci­tyUK up here there’s no rea­son why we can’t see more film­ing be­ing done around here, and it’s al­ways fun to spot all the places you know ap­pear­ing on your screen.”

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