County in big screen spotlight

SOME of Suffolk's most eye-catching locations have been shown off to film and television producers in a bid to put the county on the big screen.

SOME of Suffolk's most eye-catching locations have been shown off to film and television producers in a bid to put the county on the big screen.

Screen East, which organised the two-day tour sponsored by the county council, said it hoped the move could provide a valuable boost to the local economy.

The trip was attended by a selection of notable film personnel whose past credits include Mamma Mia, St Trinian's, The Hills Have Eyes II and Tomorrow Never Dies.

Some of the locations visited included Ipswich marina and docks, Helmingham Hall and gardens, Framlingham Castle, Seckford Hall, the House in the Clouds in Thorpeness, Orford Ness and Aldeburgh.

Kerry Ixer, head of locations for Screen East, said the trip had been arranged by Suffolk councils in partnership with themselves after the county was found to be a poor relation in the region when it came to film location revenue.

Suffolk can boast appearances in such films and productions as Eyes Wide Shut, Iris, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Stardust, Allo! Allo!, Doctor Who, Lovejoy and Only Fools and Horses.

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But last year of a pot of £22.9 million that was ploughed into the six eastern counties, only £825,500 was spent in Suffolk.

Mrs Ixer said: “Popular productions can provide a valuable boost to the local tourism industry if locations are open to the public as more and more tourists are visiting locations used in popular films and television dramas.

“Location filming can therefore help Suffolk to showcase the beauty of the county's countryside and historic heritage.”

n. Anyone who knows of a Suffolk location worthy of the big or small screen is asked to contact Screen East on 01923 495051 or email locations@screeneast.co.uk. They would also be pleased to hear from companies based in the county, such as couriers, construction companies, florists, cleaners and taxi companies who could support productions while shooting on location.