Film crews and Hollywood stars have become almost a common site in Bolton in recent years. In some quarters the town has come to be regarded as the Hollywood of the North. Part two of a three part special report, looks at how much income these productions have already created for the borough.

Nearly a million pounds has been paid directly to Bolton Council by film producers over three years.

This comes as the town proves to be an ever more popular destination for production companies behind hit television and film works ranging from Sky’s Brassic to BBC1 drama Happy Valley.

Bolton Council heard earlier this year that the authority has made £975,250 from film production companies between 2019 and 2022, which still came to a total of £746,053 after costs.

Addressing a more recent meeting, Cllr Sean Fielding said: “I wonder whether there’s ever been a calculation of the wider economic benefit of having so much stuff filmed here.

“Because people spend money in the coffee shops, the restaurants and stay in the hotels and when you see the great coverage that The Bolton News is generous enough to give us when things are being filmed here often the comments are how much is the council being paid for this?

The Bolton News: Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy on set in BoltonPeaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy on set in Bolton (Image: Newsquest)

“And its not an unreasonable question, actually I think we should be promoting how much it brings into the economy much more if we can.”

Bolton Council had first heard in March about the money made directly by the authority after a question put by Cllr Debbie Newall, of Kearsley to the then deputy leader Cllr Hillary Fairclough.

But Cllr Fielding, of Breightmet, raised the questions again at a more recent meeting of Bolton Council’s corporate scrutiny committee on Monday October 23, which was discussing the wider benefits of bringing film crews to the borough.

Similar points were made by Cllr Maureen Flitcroft, of Farnworth South.

She said: “Residents will ask, with all the filming that’s going on in the town centre, what do we do with the money that we get from the film companies.”

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The committee members heard how previous film and television productions seen around Bolton have included ITV’s Ridley, Coronation Street and the People’s Postcode Lottery.

BBC crews have also bee in town to film drama series Nolly, starring Helena Bonham Carter and comedy series Meet the Khan’s as well as children’s series Princess Mirror Belle.

Beyond terrestrial TV, crews from Paramount+ have been seen in Bolton filming and new adaptation of The Full Monty, while Sky have been filming Michelle Keegan comedy Brassic and drama series Cobra while production company Shudder have followed suit filming mystery thriller Black Cab.

The same meeting also heard how as well as the money paid directly to the council, the borough also benefited from the exposure granted to its sights and architecture from appearing on screens all over the country.