Chloe Shakesby

Work starts on £3.76m Hartlepool film studio set to premiere in summer

A North East school has announced that it has started work on the North East’s first “large scale” film and TV studios.

Construction has commenced on the £3.76m Northern Studios, which will be at The Northern School of Art’s Hartlepool campus.

The site will create a 30,000 sq ft film and television studio for commercial use, as well as a new teaching building to support specialist technical and skills training for undergraduates.

Work has started to create the North East’s first dedicated large-scale film and TV studios at - with doors due to open for business in six months.

The new studios, which are being funded by the Tees Valley mayor and combined authority, will be open by summer 2021.

Ben Houchen, mayor of Tees Valley, commented: “From the hugely popular detective series Vera to blockbuster war film 1917, Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool have hosted some amazing film and TV productions and there are always companies looking to film exciting, large-scale productions region.

“This brilliant new development will provide an even bigger draw for them, helping to support our fantastic creative sector and create good-quality well paid jobs for local people eager to work within TV and film.

“It will go even further in training our students, giving them practical, hands-on experience as the industry as well as showing them they don’t need to leave the region for a successful career in their field.

“To top it all off, the lead contractor is a local firm, supporting my plan for jobs, including in our vital construction sector.”

Christopher Akers-Belcher, chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Regeneration Services Committee, said: “Hartlepool already has strong links with film and television, through the Northern School of Art, as the town where director and producer Sir Ridley Scott studied and as a go-to filming location for a host of TV and film productions.

“The new studios will open a fantastic new chapter in that story, and we are delighted to be helping to make that vision a reality.

“We look forward to Hartlepool growing into an important centre of creative excellence in film and television, building a reputation both nationally and around the world.”

Principal of The Northern School of Art, Dr Martin Raby, added: “I’m absolutely delighted that this long-planned project is now underway and will be open for use by professional cast and crew from summer 2021.

“We are located in an area that offers huge potential for the screen industries, it makes economic sense for production companies to base themselves here at the heart of so many wonderful locations for shooting, all within a 30-mile radius - or just within an hour’s drive – meaning reduced costs.

“The Northern Studios will put Hartlepool on the screen industry map.”

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