Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 3°C

Search

Bentwaters film studio recommended for approval on Monday in boost for Suffolk’s growing screen industry

PUBLISHED: 19:39 29 October 2017 | UPDATED: 19:43 29 October 2017

Mackenzie Crook on the set of the Detectorists in Framlingham - the new film studio is hoped to attract more productions to Suffolk. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Mackenzie Crook on the set of the Detectorists in Framlingham - the new film studio is hoped to attract more productions to Suffolk. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Archant

Suffolk’s ambition to become the most “film friendly county in the UK” is expected to take major strides forward on Monday when planners are recommended to approve a new studio complex.

A CGI-image showing how the film studio complex would look at the former Bentwaters air base. Picture: JEFF COPPARD A CGI-image showing how the film studio complex would look at the former Bentwaters air base. Picture: JEFF COPPARD

Bentwaters Parks wants to use 12 acres of the former USAF base, near Woodbridge, to cater for the needs of Suffolk’s expanding screen industry, including films, TV, adverts and music videos.

It would see a main studio built south of the runway, providing 34,000 sq ft of space, while nine old military buildings would be converted for associated uses.

Economists believe the scheme can capitalise on the UK’s thriving film sector, which is worth billions of pounds a year, and say Suffolk is ideally placed to play a top role.

Recognising the opportunities, councils agreed to launch Screen Suffolk last year, the county’s official film office, offering a “one-stop” service promoting the various creative talents and unique locations to make it the UK’s “most film-friendly county”.

Sarah Brown from Bentwater Parks talks about the potential of the as a film production base during the ReCreate Regional Film Conference. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY Sarah Brown from Bentwater Parks talks about the potential of the as a film production base during the ReCreate Regional Film Conference. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Research in 2015 identified strengths in Suffolk’s offer to the film industry, including its ample space for set building, unique locations, and links with London.

Suffolk already features regularly in cinemas and TV, with more than 80 days of filming held in the county during the first half of 2017 Recent productions include the BBC’s Detectorists, shot around Framlingham, A Child in Time, which includes scenes in Shingle Street and Springwatch, which visited RSPB Minsmere two years running.

In May, rumours surfaced that Jurassic World 2 was filming at Rock Barracks, near Woodbridge.

The new film studio is hoped to encourage further growth in the creative sector. A recent study noted a “strong cultural base” with opportunities to develop Bentwaters Parks as a creative hub alongside Aldeburgh Music, High Tide and Latitude festival.

The only major concerns came from Eyke Parish Council, which warned traffic would have a detrimental impact on the village and surrounding Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Suffolk Coastal District Council’s report for Monday’s planning committee meeting noted the concerns but said the local highways authority was satisfied with the proposals.

“The proposed development would provide an interesting employment addition to the existing mix of business uses located at Bentwaters Park,” the report concludes.

John Bishop’s back with Winging It, his first national tour in three years. Selling out arenas across the UK, extra dates have been added, including several in Ipsswich and Southend. We found out more.

Do you run out of things to do at the weekend? Check out our guide for inspiration, here is what’s happening on January 20 and 21.

The award-winning writer and star of TV comedy Detectorists has spoken of his love for the “beautiful” Suffolk town where it was filmed and his “mixed emotions” over fans’ reaction to its ending.

The first Folk on a Boat concert of 2018 is being held in Ipswich on Friday, with Suffolk singer/songwriter Holly Johnston performing.

Award-winning crime author Elly Griffiths will be visiting three Suffolk libraries next month as part of a tour promoting her latest book.

Did your favourite show make the list?

Not many seven-year-old girls can say they feature in their very own music video.

Have you ever wished that you were born early enough to have been part of Bobby Robson’s FA Cup winning side in May 1978? Well you don’t have to jump aboard the TARDIS or fall through a wormhole in time, you can just audition to take part in a new dance-led reconstruction of Ipswich Town’s history-making victory at Wembley.

Movies that tell a good story and have engaging characters provide that all-important re-watch value necessary for a great film. Arts editor Andrew Clarke presents a series of idiosyncratic suggestions for movies which may entertain if you are in the mood for something different.

From Richard Attenborough’s excellent Young Winston (1972) to Jonathan Teplitzky’s Churchill (2017), Winston Churchill has been the subject of countless historical dramas and biopics that have dealt with various stages of the near-mythical figure’s life.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24