The only way could be more filming in Brentwood
As another Brentwood-based TV series launches next week on Channel 5, plans have been put in place to try to encourage even more filming in the borough.
The success of The Only Way is Essex, and All About Amy, which starts on Friday, could just be the beginning for the borough’s use as a showbiz location.
A proposal has been put forward by a company called Film Link, which holds a database of filming locations, to promote Brentwood to companies shooting feature films and programmes.
The company says that there are 45 existing shooting locations in the borough and they believe they can find even more – if they are given a �2,000 contract with the council to do so.
Kerry Ixer from Film Link told Brentwood Council’s Business Panel last week that the council would recoup the costs of investment through charging companies to park in the town, and helping to turn around failing businesses.
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She said: “Outside Hertforshire the most success we’ve had is with Suffolk Coastal, where they started with �200,000 of inward investment and are now investing just shy of �1m.”
Ms Ixer noted the previous success of the show she called “This is Essex (sic)” in helping Brentwood, and said the profile of the borough could be raised further with Film Link’s help.
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The group already works with several other local authorities including Epping Forest – which has a section on its website dedicated to helping film makers.
Films including World War I movie Flyboys, and TV series Footballers Wives have been filmed in Epping as a result, and the council is keen to encourage more.
But not everyone was convinced by the plans to invest tax payers’ money in the project.
Cllr Russell Quirk (Conservative, Hutton North) said: “We’re competing against 440 other local authority areas. Towie (The Only Way is Essex) does already promote the aesthetic of Brentwood, I don’t see it as money well spent.”
He also asked the proposers to be clearer about how the public money will be recouped.
But the panel’s chairman Cllr Mark Reed (Conservative, Hutton South) said: “I do think you can very easily get �2,000 back.”
The panel voted to refer the idea to the Brentwood Renaissance Group, whose money would be use to fund the project.