Film and TV crews set to become more regular sight in South Tyneside after new deal signed

Film and TV crews are set to become a more regular sight in South Tyneside after a new deal signed to make the borough more attractive to production companies.

South Tyneside is no stranger to the screen, featuring in a number of TV and film productions, with most recent appearances including episodes of detective series Vera.

Now South Tyneside Council has signed a ‘Film Friendly Charter’ with North East Screen to show its commitment to working in partnership to make the North East a filming-friendly region, building on its existing support for the region’s TV and Film production industry as part of the North East Screen Industries Partnership (NESIP).

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The BBC pledged in 2021 to increase production and support for the creative sector, with a commitment to invest almost £25million in the region over the next five years to fund TV production and talent development. North East authorities agreed to provide a combined additional £11.4million over the same term.

Filming of Vera at Ocean Beach Pleasure Park in 2021.

Cllr Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council said: “We’ve already signed a memorandum of understanding designed to breathe new life into our regional film and television industry. Signing the Charter is the next step and renews our commitment.

“The Film Friendly Charter recognises the positive economic and cultural benefits hosting filming activity has on an area, bringing jobs and economic investment into the region

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“Being a filming-friendly council is about maximising the benefits of bringing productions to the borough and making it a positive experience for everyone involved.

“We will provide a single point of contact for production companies, building a network of all council departments impacted by filming, facilitate the use of council property and work with North East Screen on publicity.

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South Tyneside Council Leader Cllr Tracey Dixon and Chief Executive sign the Filming Friendly Charter with North East Screen's Chief Executive Alison Gwynn.

“We already have a wealth of filming taking place across the borough and wider North East region and we want to expand that even further, to raise our profile for other potential film and television productions, put the borough on the map and highlight our strengths on a national stage.”

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Cllr Dixon said the screen industry brings jobs and economic investment into the region, and the council, as part of the NESIP, is working to deliver a new Screen Industries Development Programme.

It aims to attract more inward investment and create “good-quality, well paid jobs” within the industry while developing, attracting, and retaining talent in the sector.

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The scheme includes the scaling-up of the region’s screen agency, North East Screen to deliver increased activity, alongside a production development and support fund, with further opportunities to develop businesses and skills that the sector needs to thrive.

South Tyneside Council Leader Cllr Tracey Dixon and Chief Executive sign the Filming Friendly Charter with North East Screen's Chief Executive Alison Gwynn.
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Alison Gwynn, Chief Executive of North East Screen said: “We are working closely with the North East Screen Industries Partnership and the BBC to encourage and promote filming across the North East.

"We want all parts of our region to benefit. It is important that each local authority area is committed to welcome production crews and make the process of filming as smooth as can be. North East Screen will support them to do this.

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“The economic and tourism benefits of a production filming in our area and the jobs it can create for local crew, as well as local businesses across the supply chain, is something we don’t want any part of the North East to miss out on."

She added: “We are delighted that South Tyneside Council has signed up to the charter and look forward to working with them to encourage more filming in the borough.”