Depending on what you were doing last Sunday you may have noticed two hours of prime time national TV devoted to Northumberland.
Not an advert that we’ve funded I should point out, but the second series of ITVs acclaimed detective drama Vera.
The show has proved a huge stage for us to sell Northumberland as a place, with the production largely filmed in the county as well as other parts of the North East.
One of the key ways of selling your patch as both a destination and a brand is to make it the backdrop for TV and film.
Easier said than done, but in our neck of the woods where tourism and the visitor economy has become even more important in recent years, showcasing the brand to an international audience can prove invaluable.
Vera has an average audience of more than 6 million people in the UK and has now been sold to 21 countries around the world.
It’s estimated that the advertsing value of this is anywhere up to £90m but for me, beaming images of the rugged, unspoiled Northumbrian landscape across the globe is pretty priceless.
Landing a major, national TV show hasnt happened by accident and has taken a huge amount of time, work and investment by Northern Film and Media.
By signing the film friendly charter with them we’ve tried to make it as easy as possible to attract this sort of production to our area and reap all the benfits this brings.
Helping to scout locations, providing better parking and just making it easier for crews to do their work seems to have really helped.
We even managed to attract a local premier of the first episode which included a Q&A with one of the stars and the author which local people really took to their heart. We’re even hosting a book signing with the author Ann Cleeves at one of our libraries this weekend to show that we’re really buying into the whole thing.
So make sure you tune in next week where you can enjoy some beautifully shot footage of our unique landscape, or if you’re from the area marvel at the characters ability to travel 80 miles in just one scene.