Five-figure donation for Wonka filming in Verulamium Park revealed

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Picture by Terry H

Warner Bros paid a five-figure sum for the usage of Verulamium Park. - Credit: Terry Harris

The five-figure sum paid to St Albans City and District Council by filmmakers Warner Bros for the usage of Verulamium Park has been revealed.  

The Hollywood production company used St Albans as a backdrop for their latest hit, an adaptation of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  

A total of £25,000 was donated for “enhancements to the park”; all expenses by the council during filming were also paid by the Wonka crew. 

A spokesperson for the council said: “The figure was £25,000. This money will be used to make some enhancements to the park. 

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Timothée Chalamet was spotted filming in St Albans. - Credit: Terry Harris

“The film company also covered the costs and expenses the council incurred for facilitating the shoot including officer time and some grounds maintenance work.”  

Crews appeared near Verulamium Park and Abbey Mill Lane from February 24 as park-goers eagerly anticipated the transformation to come.   

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

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.    

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

Jim Carter omn the set of Wonka,
Verulamium Lake, St Albans
Thursday 03 March 2022.
Picture by Terr

Jim Carter on the set of Wonka in St Albans. - Credit: Terry Harris

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“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. 

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Timothée Chalamet seen for the first time in St Albans. - Credit: © Terry Harris

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