Town’s starring role in film
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.”