Movie-makers will bring investment

Kent County Council logo
Kent County Council logo

by business editor Trevor Sturgess

Kent is focusing on a revenue boost from movie-makers after MPs backed its bid to close roads for filming.

There should be more camera, lights, action after the county became the only area outside London to have legal powers to close roads temporarily to enable directors to get their best location shots.

Kent County Council asked the Government to push through the Parliamentary bill as part of its campaign to back local business and the county's economy.

"It believes encouraging filmmakers to the county brings multi-million pound benefits to businesses, tourism and residents."

Kevin Lynes, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: "Filming brings a serious income into the Kent economy, so we're absolutely committed to nurturing the industry and making Kent a national and international contender for filming.

"Our wonderfully diverse county has everything from dramatic landscapes and historical settings to modern, urban backdrops and the new law means we can offer filmmakers an even better package."

The Kent Film Office, run by KCC, has generated more than £14 million for the county's economy in the four years since it was set up.

It has attracted projects including BBC drama Emma featuring Michael Gambon and Is Anybody There featuring Michael Caine. Other films shot on location in Kent include The Other Boleyn Girl, Vanity Fair and The Golden Compass.

Although the new law gives legal powers to close roads, the Kent Film Office will continue to work closely with local residents and businesses and take their needs into account.

Tanya Oliver, director of strategic development and public access, added: "This is really exciting for Kent.

"We can now offer filmmakers a real flexibility to meet their needs and that's going to make us an even more attractive prospect.

"I think our county is set for stardom that will benefit everyone."

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