Warner Bros make ‘five-figure donation’ after St Albans Wonka filming

Warner Bros have given St Albans City and District Council a "five-figure" donation

Warner Bros have given St Albans City and District Council a "five-figure" donation after filming parts of Wonka in and around Verulamium Park. - Credit: Terry Harris

Hollywood filmmakers Warner Bros have made a “substantial donation” that is “well into five-figures" after filming parts of Wonka in St Albans.  

St Albans City and District Council say the exact figure is currently confidential and cannot be disclosed, but have revealed it “is a five-figure sum”.  

The cash-boost will be used for enhancements and improvements at Verulamium Park after crews arrived on Thursday, February 24.  

Wonka filming at Verulamium Park in St Albans.

Wonka filming at Verulamium Park in St Albans. - Credit: Pearce Bates

Crews built sets around the lake and near Ye Olde Fighting Cocks pub on Abbey Mill Lane. 

Wonka! a prequel to Charlie and The Chocolate Factory will share the story of Willy Wonka's early life, before he met Charlie.  

The family musical fantasy film is set to be released in March 2023.   

St Albans joins a long list of other cities and towns in England where the film has been shot so far: Bath, London, Oxford and Lyme Regis.   

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Councillor Anthony Rowlands, chair of the public realm committee of St Albans City and District Council, said: “The Wonka filming caused great excitement.  

Lighting marked 'Wonka' in Verulamium Park.

Lighting marked 'Wonka' in Verulamium Park. - Credit: Pearce Bates

“People were intrigued by what was going on and had hoped to catch a glimpse of the stars. 

“I visited the scene myself a number of times, talked to the crew and was very impressed by the way they’ve handled the logistics and the needs of park users in conjunction with council officers. 

“A couple of pathways had to be closed for a few hours, but few have complained and security staff have been showing people alternative routes. 

“Advance warning was given by notices put up in the park while nearby residents were informed by letter. 

Warner Bros setting up a crane at Verulamium Park in St Albans.

Warner Bros setting up a crane at Verulamium Park in St Albans. - Credit: Pearce Bates

“It’s marvellous that this historic park was chosen to be the location of a children’s blockbuster movie and we were happy to facilitate the production.  

“I hope that the film is a roaring success and more people make a visit to the park as a result. 

“The production company has made a substantial donation for enhancements to the park.”