Filming boosts Suffolk's economy

PUBLISHED: 00:38 15 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:29 05 July 2010

SUFFOLK'S economy has been boosted over the last six months to the tune of nearly £400,000 because of filming and media opportunities taken up in the county.

SUFFOLK'S economy has been boosted over the last six months to the tune of nearly £400,000 because of filming and media opportunities taken up in the county.

In the last six months the estimated economic impact to Suffolk of big and small screen filming has been estimated at £387,000.

The figures come as a new children's programme, set in Aldeburgh and Southwold, was screened on Cbeebies, last Tuesday.

The programme called 'Grandpa In My Pocket' is CBeebies first ever comedy drama for pre-school children and is set in a fictional seaside town called Sunnysands.

Screen East, supported by Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Coastal District and Ipswich Borough Councils, helped the production to find their locations in the Suffolk towns.

Grandpa in My Pocket is the latest in a line of local filming including television programmes, 'It's Not Easy Being Green', 'Walter's War' and the film 'Scouting Book for Boys'.

The popularity of the area for filming is shown by the fact that Screen East handles over 200 enquiries a month and has over 7,000 on file.

Grandpa In My Pocket is about a young boy's everyday adventures with his mischievous grandpa played by James Bolam.

The series explores the important relationship between grandchildren and grandparents by turning it on its head.

Grandpa lives with his family, the Masons - dad, mum, 10-year-old Jemima, seven-year-old Jason and Beowulf the dog - in Sunnysands.

Everyone thinks grandpa spends all his time stuck in his armchair, but he has a magic shrinking cap which only Jason knows about. When grandpa puts his cap on, he becomes small enough to fit into Jason's pocket. He turns up in unlikely places and creates comic mayhem, which Jason has to help sort out.

Welcoming the work, county councillor and portfolio holder for culture and economic development, Lisa Chambers said: “The economic boost of filming locally is not to be under estimated, whether it is toddler tourism as a result of well-loved children's programmes or the hidden benefits of film crews and production companies staying in the county.

“Suffolk is an ideal base for filming with its close links to London and facilities. Its other major selling point for TV and film crews is how varied a county it is and the wealth of locations on offer; from coastline to heath and from bustling towns to picturesque villages, Suffolk has it all.”

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