Big movie boost as RAF site becomes new Yorkshire film studio

YORKSHIRE has had a big movie boost as plans to create a new studio space at a former air hangar have been approved.

The plans by Screen Yorkshire will see more than 100,000sq ft space at the RAF site in Church Fenton used for film and TV purposes.

It is hoped the scheme will put the region on an equal footing with other key UK production centres, and help Yorkshire adopt the moniker ‘the Hollywood of England’.

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The application for planning permission was granted for a period of five years and was voted for unanimously by Selby District councillors yesterday.

Leader of the council, councillor Mark Crane, said: “The approval of the film studio at Church Fenton will bring many financial benefits to the district as well as the creation of many jobs.”

He added: “This is an exciting time for the district and for our residents.”

A spokesperson for Selby District Council said: “This will put Yorkshire on the British film and TV making map.

“Screen Yorkshire will now have a permanent home within the district, delivering a significant boost to the region’s film and TV infrastructure.

“This will give Yorkshire a competitive edge to compete with the top production centres around the UK.”

Property investors Makin Enterprises own the former RAF site, and Screen Yorkshire’s new ‘Yorkshire Studios’ will be made up of three aircraft hangars, office space, garages, workshops, extensive parking, roadways and runways.

Yorkshire’s reputation as a base for large scale film and TV projects has gathered significant momentum following the launch of the Yorkshire Content Fund in 2012.

The fund has ploughed more than £21m into the region’s economy through location-based dramas including Peaky Blinders, Dad’s Army and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.

Speaking previously, Sally Joynson, chief executive at Screen Yorkshire, said: “The opening of Yorkshire Studios is a significant landmark for the UK film and TV industry.

“The Yorkshire Content Fund has enabled us to secure some incredible projects that have made great use of our existing portfolio of studio space.

“The lack of a larger-scale production facility however, has prevented a number of major long-term film and TV productions from basing themselves here.

“These productions hold huge potential for sustaining the industry’s infrastructure and workforce, so it became clear that securing such a site should be a priority.”

Adrian Wootton, chief executive at the British Film Commission and Film London, also said: “The significant new studio space at Church Fenton is incredibly welcome news, and I congratulate Screen Yorkshire in their work in helping make it happen.

“It represents a real boost the UK’s existing production infrastructure and will also be an added incentive for domestic and international productions to shoot in the area, and enable them to access the Yorkshire Content Fund.”

Yorkshire was most recently used as the setting for the film Dad’s Army, which was shot in Bridlington and stars Catherine Zeta-Jones.

It is due to be released in 2016.