‘Lights, Camera, Stockport! Filming boom continues in boost to local economy!

Stockport was ‘ready for its close up’ after the borough served as a filming location in top ITV drama After the Flood

‘Lights, Camera,  Stockport! Filming boom continues in boost to local economy!

The murder mystery is set in Yorkshire after PC Joanna Marshall discovers the corpse of an unidentified man in an old lift shaft following a devastating natural disaster. It is assumed that he became trapped as the waters rose, but PC Marshall becomes obsessed with discovering what happened to him.

The setting for this key moment was filmed in Stockport in May 2023 and the team found an old underground car park where they could create the pivotal scene which launches the wider mystery and sets in motion a chain of events where secrets and mysteries in the fictional town of Waterside become exposed.

Also featuring in last night’s fourth episode of the thriller was a scene shot inside Stockport’s historic Market Hall.

This latest moment in the spotlight comes as Stockport continues to celebrate being this year's Greater Manchester Town of Culture, with the borough fast gaining a reputation as the ‘Hollywood of the North’ after many high-quality TV and film productions have chosen to use the borough as a backdrop. This includes the latest smash hit Netflix Harlan Coben-penned drama Fool Me Once.

And filming before Christmas in the borough was BBC comedy Daddy Issues, also starring home grown Stockport actress Aimee Lou Wood.

Other shows or films using the borough as a backdrop have included 2023’s The Power of Parker, a sitcom set in Stockport about a self-made man struggling to keep his head above water as the 1980s turn into the 1990s. More exciting projects aired last year from some of the best production companies in the world, including BBC, Disney+, Netflix and Sky.

Figures from Filming in England show since Jan 2018 in Stockport, there have been more than 197 shoot days with an estimated production spend of over £3.5 million.

This included popular shows like Peaky Blinders, Years and Years, Inside No.9, Traces, Dodger, Everything I Know About Love, Sherwood from the BBC, Significant Other, Nolly, Bancroft, The Bay and The Tower from ITV, Everyone Else Burns and It’s a Sin from Channel 4, How To Date Billy Walsh from Amazon Feature, Wedding Season from Disney+ and The Rising, COBRA, Brassic and Wolfe from Sky and Safe, The Stranger and Stay Close from Netflix.

Stockport is a popular location spot as its unique geography and history offers a mix of location opportunities including:

  • Beautiful countryside;
  • Urban ‘grit’ offering the perfect backdrop for a wide range of circumstances and eras;
  • A rich cultural landscape that’s grown and developed over hundreds of years;
  • Medieval streets and Victorian mills and monuments;
  • Listed sites and fascinating buildings including 13th century halls, iconic 1960’s and 1970’s buildings and ultra-modern state of the art office developments.

Stockport has been lauded by many industry professionals as a great place to film on location.

Location manager Danny Hussain said: “We filmed BBC comedy, ‘Scarborough’ in Stockport. Filming in Stockport was a pleasure and that is not often said.”

And Jonny Shelton, Production Liaison Manager, North West and Midlands for Creative England, said: “It has been a pleasure to work so closely with Stockport’s local authority to support the local film and tv sector in recent years.

“Stockport Council – members of our Filming in England Partnership – make full use of their flexible and supportive approach to ensure that Location Managers, working on HETV Dramas and Features, are able to maximise their presence when shooting in the area.

“As a result, the area has a strong reputation in the industry and is one of the busiest locations in the North West, which is aided further by Stockport’s wide range of locations and period architecture – plus its ideal proximity into the production hubs of Manchester and Liverpool.

“We look forward to seeing the sector develop further in the future and continuing to work closely with the brilliant people in Stockport.”

The increased demand to use Stockport as a filming location brings huge benefits for the area, as well as the wider Greater Manchester region and include:

  • Employment opportunities it creates for local crew members, many of these will be based in Stockport (including one of the Location Managers who worked on ‘How to Date Billy Walsh’), as well as work experience opportunities for Stockport students;
  • Filming inside business premises and work for local suppliers including security companies, caterers, kit hire, chaperones and tutors who look after children;
  • Opportunity for income generation for the Local Authority from paid for services used during productions such as Parking, Highways, Parks/Greenspaces and Property/Assets through venue hire;
  • Opportunity to bring visitors who are fans of certain productions into the town and the boost for local hospitality and leisure businesses.

Councillor Mark Hunter, Leader of Stockport Council, said: “It’s wonderful Stockport has become such a popular location for filming and it’s great watching programmes and spotting places we are so familiar with taking pride of place on screen. We are lucky that thanks to Stockport’s history and geography, we can offer such unique locations.”

Councillor Frankie Singleton, Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture & Sport at Stockport Council, said: “Thanks to the council’s dedicated staff working collaboratively with partner organisations and supportive businesses, this helps to bring real benefits to the local economy by raising our profile and putting us firmly on the production and tourism map as we continue to celebrate all things in this year of Stockport being the Greater Manchester town of culture."

Stockport's bustling filming trade comes as Stockport celebrates being the current Greater Manchester Town of Culture. The Town of Culture programme continues at pace into February, with events such as Mind, Body and Spirit Event both on 3 February, Make Stuff's Family Edition and Create at Staircase - Mosaic In a Day on 10 February, Year of the Dragon half term crafts at Bridgehall Library on 15 February, Stockport Race & Culture Awards 2024 on 16 February, and Stockport Symphony Orchestra – Bohemian Rhapsodic at Stockport Town Hall on 24 February .

To find out more about Stockport as this year’s Greater Manchester Town of Culture, visit the dedicated website.