What do Bleak House, Batman Begins and the Harry Potter films have in common?  The answer is that they were all filmed partly in the East of England, creating income for hundreds of rural businesses right across the region.

With over 200 requests a month from production companies for a mind-boggling array of locations, props and back up services, the East of England has become one of the most popular regions in the UK for TV and film-making.  The benefits to our economy are huge and are not confined to stately home and large land owners.  Unusual requests received recently include those for settings which could serve as lunar landscapes, Egyptian deserts and Korean paddy fields.  More frequent needs are for period style streets, farms and large barns or warehouses.   Services provided by local florists, drycleaners, wood suppliers and cleaners are also regularly in demand from production companies.


At a free seminar at Elveden Hall on Monday 30 October, rural businesses will discover how they can cash in on this growing regional industry and hear from businesses which have already done so and reaped the benefit.  They will also find out what types of location, props and support services are most in demand and what they need to do to get involved.  The event is being hosted jointly by the EEDA Rural Gateway service which supports rural businesses and Screen East, which promotes the region to the film industry.


Elvira Schmidt, project manager of the Rural Gateway, comments:  ‘In 2004-5, the UK film industry contributed £960 million to GDP.  The East of England already gets a big chunk of this but we can do even better.


‘The locations, props and skills required by the TV and film industry are not always the most obvious so many rural businesses may not realise the potential of the assets they have to be used in this way.  We hope the seminar will open their eyes to the opportunities available to them and show them how simple it is to get involved.’


To register your attendance at the seminar, call 0845 7218218 or e-mail success@businesslinknorfolk.co.uk


For further information contact Rebecca George, George PR,Tel: 01449 737281/07974 161108