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Bolton stakes a claim to be ‘Hollywood of the North’

Bolton solidifies its reputation as the 'Hollywood of the North,' with an impressive 88 days of filming in 2023, featuring in major productions like The Reckoning, Gentleman in Moscow, and Netflix's Fool Me Once.
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Bolton Hollywood North

Bolton’s claim to be the ‘Hollywood of the North’ is ringing increasingly true with production crews for various television and movie projects spending 88 days filming at locations in the town in 2023.

The town’s locations, in particular the cobbles and grand, curved architecture of Le Mans Crescent, have featured in dozens of productions over recent years.

Bolton, The Hollywood of the North

In 2023, productions filming in Bolton included The Reckoning, Gentleman in Moscow, Ridley and Alma’s Not Normal.

Another international production, Fool Me Once, a Netflix mystery drama series starring Michelle Keegan and Joanna Lumley, which premiered on New Year’s Day, also has scenes shot in the town.

Other dramas previously using the town hall area as a backdrop include Peaky Blinders, It’s a Sin, Nolly, Brassic, The Ipcress File, The Full Monty and Red Rose, with stars such as Cillian Murphy, Ewen McGregor, Adrian Dunbar and Jodie Whittaker performing on the cobbles.

This 88 filming days last year was more than double those in 2022, when there were 42 days of production. Production companies sending crews to the borough included BBC, ITV, Netflix, Paramount + and SKY.

£1m of Income to Bolton Through Filming

Over the last four years filming has delivered more than £1m of income into Bolton Council directly. As well as the civic architecture and countryside the council also offers production companies access to internal spaces such as courtrooms, cells, former retail units and office space to offer as filming locations.

Staff from the council also offer to attend technical recess, working with location managers to ensure they have all the information about locations.

The information on filming is included in the Made In Bolton strategy document which will be put before the council’s cabinet next week.

Using the town for productions is part of a plan to deliver a high-profile events programme in the borough.

Councillor Nadeem Ayub

Cabinet member for culture Coun Nadeem Ayub, said: “Filming is an essential part of our cultural programme here in Bolton, we have some fantastic buildings in the town centre and the surrounding area.
“It ensures there are people coming into the town centre whether part of film crews or visiting, and they are then spending money on restaurants, bars, cafes and so on which is good for our economy.”

“And of course it brings celebrities to the town which helps to put is on the national and international stage.” Late last year, the council’s corporate scrutiny committee were heard comments from BBC location manager on Years and Years James Muirhead, who worked on filming in the town.

He said: “Bolton offers the production both period and contemporary.

“Having spent the day in the town we managed to achieve period London to high end futuristic offices. “All sorted by the excellent team at the council.

“It’s a safe pair of hands from a location managers point of view.”

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