Why it could soon be lights, camera, action in Hartlepool

An artist's impression of the planned Northern Studios in Lynn Street, Hartlepool.
An artist's impression of the planned Northern Studios in Lynn Street, Hartlepool.

It could soon be lights, camera, and action in Hartlepool as plans to create a new film and TV studio have been lodged.

Civic chiefs at Hartlepool Borough Council have put in a full planning application to convert its former bus depot in Lynn Street into a new film studio.

The building would be called The Northern Studios and be occupied by The Northern School of Art, which has its new £8m campus just a stones throw away.

If approved, it would be the North East’s first dedicated production facility capable of housing large scale film and TV production.

Pat Chapman, the art college’s vice principal – employability and external relations, said: “As the specialist provider of education and training for the creative industries in the region, we are delighted to have taken this important next step in bringing about a new chapter of ambition and regeneration for the North East.

“The Northern School of Art has a clear role in championing the growing creative sector in the region and taking positive steps to help it grow in value and employment.”

The plans include a flexible commercial sound stage for TV and features production, a green screen/smaller studio for visual and special effects and corporate filming as well as a training studio for students.

The studios will also incorporate large workshop spaces with industrial scale 3D scanning and printing facilities for set and prop construction for the screen, stage and events industries, offices, parking, storage and a café/visitor centre.

The college says the application is the result of years of working with industry partners alongside developing specialist courses.

It is also are part of the work between the council and art college to create an Innovation and Skills Quarter in the Church Street area that nurtures and keeps young talent in the town.

Mr Chapman added: “This is an exciting time for Hartlepool as we see investment in the regeneration and future of the town – this development can underpin not just local but regional growth and prosperity.

“We have so many reasons why we should seize this opportunity - a shortage of commercial studio space due to the massive growth in the UK screen industry which means that the UK is missing out on opportunities and an increase in location filming in the area for which we can provide a more efficient production base.”

Gill Alexander, chief executive of Hartlepool council, previously told the Mail how the local authority is working with the art college to promote and attract people to Hartlepool as a place for film production.

The plans include an acoustic curtain to prevent noise associated with the studio from being heard outside.