New filming bill could be a boost to St Albans economy

St Albans was chosen as a filming location for Silent Witness last year

St Albans was chosen as a filming location for Silent Witness last year - Credit: Archant

Making movies in Hertfordshire should be much easier thanks to a special bill that was passed last week.

The Filming on the Highways Bill, which was initially proposed by the county council in 2012, is now awaiting Royal Assent for it to become an Act of Parliament.

Although the county is already a popular choice for location filming, getting a road closed to shoot scenes can be complex.

The proposed bill aims to simplify the process for production companies and assist them in planning their filming schedules.

It will also enable the council to temporarily close roads and issue permissions to place filming equipment on the highway for short periods of time.

Chris Hayward, the county council’s cabinet member for enterprise, education and skills, said he was delighted the Filming on the Highways Bill was close to legislation.

He explained: “Once law, this will help boost Hertfordshire’s economy and reinforce our position as one of the top five economies in the UK.

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“It should bring more business to the county, which is already a popular destination for production companies and hopefully it won’t be long before local businesses also start to benefit from this initiative.”

Morris Bright, chairman of the board of directors at Elstree Studios, praised the county council for supporting local film, hailing the bill as a “thumbs up for the media sector”.

He went on: “Hertfordshire in general, and Elstree and Borehamwood in particular, are proud of our great production heritage.

“Films have been made in our area for almost 100 years. Times change and so does the demand for film and television production with more work than ever before being filmed on location.

“So we need and want to make it as easy as possible for production companies to come to Hertfordshire and make use of our excellent studio facilities as well as our location settings which are second to none.”

Mr Bright added: “By making our area even more attractive to the media industry, it will provide a further and much needed boost to our local economies.”