New charter aims to build on county’s already booming filming industry

Fury starring Brad Pitt was filmed at Bovingdon Airfield.
Fury starring Brad Pitt was filmed at Bovingdon Airfield.

A film charter that aims to build on the county’s reputation as a first-class filming destination will be signed tomorrow (Wednesday).

Herts County Council and all ten of the county’s district and borough councils will come together to sign the Film Friendly Charter with Creative England.

The new charter is expected to bring further investments and income from screen tourism and additional jobs to the area.

Ashridge is a well known destination for film crews with scenes for Into the Woods shot on the estate along with Les Misérables, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Stardust.

Empty parts of Hemel Hempstead Hospital are also often used by television crews and the adaptation of David Walliams’ Mr Stink was filmed in the town centre.

Nearby Bovingdon Airfield is the location of choice for film stunts and Brad Pitt was there during filming for American war film Fury.

The county is also home to Leavesden Film Studios, which houses the Harry Potter tour, and Elstree Film Studios.

It is estimated that last year £8.6 million was spent in Herts as a direct result of location filming with a single feature film bringing up to £42,000 a day into the local economy.

Through the charter, Creative England aims to attract more interest and investment in Herts by helping local authorities and film and TV production companies to work together, offering advice on the county’s locations, providing links to available film crew and helping to arrange any permits required to film.

Production liaison manager at Creative England Hayley Armstrong said: “Filming makes a significant contribution to Hertfordshire’s local economy and the county has a long association with some of the biggest names in Film and TV. By signing of the Film Friendly Charter, Hertfordshire is giving a clear signal to the industry that the region is film-friendly. It also shows a strong commitment to encouraging the facilitation and development of film and television in the county.

American war film Fury.

American war film Fury.

“Just last year, we supported 79 productions to film on location in Hertfordshire including 19 feature films, and I look forward to seeing this number rise in the next few years.”

The highest grossing film of 2014 - Paddington - was filmed in the county. Location manager on the movie Jonah Coombes said: “I really relished the opportunity to bring location and studio filming of Paddington to Hertfordshire because there is always such a collaborative, open minded and can-do approach.”

The partnership between Creative England and Hertfordshire is part of Creative England’s drive to encourage more productions to film in England’s regions. The organisation works with local authorities up and down the country to promote the benefits that filming can bring to an area’s economy.

By signing of the Film Friendly Charter, Hertfordshire is giving a clear signal to the industry that the region is film-friendly.

Hayley Armstrong