On the final day of Harrogate Film Festival, we held an event in conjunction with Harrogate Digital and the LEP, regarding why film is currently booming in Yorkshire. Channel 4 announced recently that they are moving to Leeds and many production companies are now filming in our beautiful part of the world.

Our panel of experts were on hand to give some insight into why this is happening, what it means and to also look ahead to what might be in store in the future. The speakers on our panel were Caroline Cooper Charles from Screen Yorkshire, Ruth Pitt from Leeds 2023 and Lucy Sontae from Everyman Cinemas.

Caroline, Screen Yorkshire’s Development Executive, mentioned that “65 productions across TV and film are currently filming across the Yorkshire region right now and this will only increase across the coming years.” Recent productions include Yardie with Idris Elba, Official Secrets staring Oscar nomination, Kiera Knightley and season three of Victoria, starring Jenna Coleman, which has just wrapped up.

Everyman Cinemas are currently expanding across the country <announcing nine more to open soon>. Three of those cinemas will be based in Yorkshire and Lucy, Regional Manager, stated, “The cinemas are opening due to demand, so, we wouldn’t be doing it, if it wasn’t there.” Lucy also noted that local cinemas have generated revenue of £1 million in private hire revenue over the last 12 months.

The events audience
The events audience

Ruth Pitt, Chairman of the Leeds 2023 Trust, who are committed to spending £15 Million on creative industries in the next five years, spoke about how we need to cherish the fact that Channel 4 is coming and use this as a springboard to make the industry in the region bigger and better.

All of the panel members were in agreement that the move will create jobs, boost the local economy and enhance tourism in the area. Caroline spoke briefly about how the area will need to help Channel 4 meet its agenda of innovation, in addition to employing individuals from a diverse or youth background.

Finally, the panel spoke about how local businesses will benefit. Trade will increase, through the requirement for additional products and services, helping industry to grow even further.

Overall the talk was well attended and incredibly informative, so thank you everybody who attended.  The Yorkshire landscape really is a wonderful place, and, as Caroline said, “Why wouldn’t film happen here, we have everything, beautiful countryside, heritage sites, beaches, towns and vibrant cities – Yorkshire has everything”.

We agree entirely!