Suffolk set to get film location boost after council launches tie-up with Film Fixer
PUBLISHED: 06:00 26 July 2016
Film firm which has worked on Star Wars, The Apprentice, BFG and Jason Bourne films hopes to bring blockbusters to Suffolk
Suffolk is set to be put on the filmmaking map after a tie-up with a major location firm that has worked on a host of Hollywood blockbusters and hit TV series.
Seven companies bid for the contract for developing Suffolk’s screen industries, as part of Suffolk County Council’s mission to bring production companies to the county for filming.
Today, Film Fixer was confirmed to have been awarded the contract, meaning work can begin to bring filming to Suffolk – a move council bosses say will help boost the county’s tourism, arts and leisure industries.
Christopher Hudson, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for Ipswich, said: “We know that people have filmed in Suffolk and have had a really good time, so we feel that Suffolk has a lot to offer.
“They recognised the potential of what is here and a significant part of our motivation is promoting Suffolk.
“We are really delighted that Film Fixer, based in London at the heart of the film industry, is on the end of the line to everybody that has got productions coming through.”
The partnership marks the first time the company has aligned to an English county, although it also works alongside the London boroughs, Cardiff and Bristol cities, and Atlanta, Georgia in the US.
Among its latest successes are blockbusters Star Wars, the BFG and the upcoming Jason Bourne film, as well as TV shows such as The Apprentice.
Council bosses have said that the firm has already voiced its intention to work with local crews and companies on its projects, and hailed the impact it would have on leisure, food and tourism firms in the county.
“What filmmakers really need is local crews and local services, so we look at it as a big investment in infrastructure,” Mr Hudson added.
Suffolk’s local authorities are pumping a combined £164,000 into the project which is expected to bring a return of “many millions of pounds.”
Earlier this year, BBC’s Springwatch was based at Minsmere Nature Reserve, while other shows such as Detectorists and Lovejoy were filmed in the county.
The hit Fast and Furious franchise has also filmed at Bentwaters in previous years.
Suffolk Coastal district councillor Andy Smith added: “We have forests, beaches, seaside resorts, derelict airbases, the Marina in Ipswich – there’s so much in a short distance – one of our biggest assets is our proximity to London.”
Currently between 20 and 50 days of filming for films, TV shows and adverts takes place in the county, but the new partnership aims to increase that to 300 days – and estimated income from a single day of filming between £17,000 and £32,000.
The firm is now building up a library of locations to pitch to producers and location scouts, with news of the first projects expected over the coming weeks.