Riding high on recent successes, and amid a storm of international acclaim, Yorkshire’s prominence in the eyes of the world has never been so strong.
It started with the arrival of the Tour de France’s Grand Depart in 2014, projecting some of the region’s most spectacular scenery to a worldwide stage, and on to the television screens of millions of viewers.
Since that time there have been numerous success stories. While the Grand Depart, controversially, did not take in a coastal setting, the annual Tour de Yorkshire cycle race has repeatedly visited seaside locations.
The coast’s profile has also been boosted by the burgeoning entertainment sector, with the emerging triumphs of Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre. Now, tourism leaders have revealed, the area is also seeing the emergence of a huge film trade, with more than 95 enquiries made to film movies, adverts and TV since the start of 2017.
“The whole image of the Scarborough borough seems to have grown in prominence over the last two or three years,” said tourism manager Janet Deacon. “We’ve been inundated with requests from film and TV crews, to shoot along the coastline. We’ve come together as a coastal destination – and are shouting about it.”
Whitby is well known for starring in many productions, from Heartbeat to Captain Jack and Victoria, with nearby Goathland famously featuring as Hogsmead Station in the Harry Potter films.
Major blockbusters have also been filmed on the coast, including The Hunter’s Prayer in Scarborough and at Flamborough, Phantom Thread, which starred Daniel Day-Lewis, in Robin Hood’s Bay, and Dad’s Army with Catherine Zeta Jones in Bridlington.
A study by the British Film Institute, published last month, found the region is home to the UK’s “fastest-growing” screen cluster.
Scarborough Borough Council has now employed a dedicated film officer, says Ms Deacon, to support demand. New festivals, an extended season and such prominence for the area, she said, are set to bring more visitors to the region.
“We anticipate another great year for tourism in Yorkshire,” added Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire. “We have a stunning coastline and a very diverse coastline, from the sweeping sands of Bridlington to the cliffs of Staithes and Whitby.
“The one thing we have is the close proximity of it all. There are very few other places where you can get out and experience so much in two or three days.”