Hartlepool to be base for new Tees Valley Screen project to boost film and TV opportunities

A new scheme to provide a boost to the region’s film and TV industry is set to be based in Hartlepool.

Thursday, 25th July 2019, 11:45 pm
Hartlepool Council Leader Shane Moore (third left) with members of the Tees Valley Screen steering group.

Tees Valley Screen will provide support to individuals and businesses in Tees Valley who work, or are looking to enhance their work, within film, television and moving imagery.

The initiative is due to be run from Hartlepool’s new £3m BIS centre in Whitby Street and aims to build on the popularity of the region for filming and support those to expand into the creative sector.

Regular networking events, training, and access to industry experts will be held as part of the scheme, providing opportunities for funding.

Brenda Blethyn as Vera in the ITV detective series. Copyright ITV.

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Hartlepool and the surrounding area has played a starring role in a number of film and TV productions in recent years including Vera, Victoria, Inspector George Gently and Hollywood blockbuster Atonement.

Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, Councillor Shane Moore, said: “I’m delighted Tees Valley Screen is being established to support those in our region who work – or are looking to expand their work – within film, television and moving imagery.

“I’m particularly pleased it is anticipated this initiative will be run from the BIS, Hartlepool’s new £3m centre for the creative industries.”

A steering group has been appointed to shape the content and direction of the programme, made up of prominent regional industry specialists including Hartlepool filmmakers Adam Boubada of Couch Potato Films and Maxy Bianco.

Actor Tom Hughes who plays Prince Albert on set at the National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool for filming of Victoria.

The scheme is being backed Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and the Combined Authority, in partnership with Gateshead-based development agency Northern Film + Media.

Mayor Houchen said: “In the Tees Valley we have a fantastic heritage in the creative industries, with film directors Tony Scott and Sir Ridley Scott and artist Mackenzie Thorpe learning their craft at West Hartlepool College of Art.

“We know the value that the film industry can bring, and that’s reflected in our ambitious agenda for economic growth in the Tees Valley.”

John Tulip, Managing Director of Northern Film + Media, added: “There’s an incredible opportunity being seized there to make the dynamic, creative and future-proof industry of film a hallmark of the region, and to enjoy the subsequent return on investment that will follow.”

Filming of George Gently on location in Church Street, Hartlepool. Picture by Frank Reid.