Filmed on location in Northumberland, ITV’s major new mystery drama, Vera is premiered this month in Newcastle.
Northumberland County Council worked closely with creative industry development agency Northern Film & Media to set up locations and arrange access to buildings for the drama, which stars Brenda Blethyn as DI Vera Stanhope.
Filming took place late last year at locations including Druridge Bay, Low Hauxley, Dunstanburgh Castle, Holy Island, the wind turbines at North Blyth and Embleton. The drama’s star-studded cast also includes David Leon and, in the first episode, North-East-born Gina McKee.
Jennie Collingwood, tourism development manager at Northumberland County Council said:
“Filming in the area, whether it be for a TV commercial or a Hollywood blockbuster, brings with it the type of publicity that no amount of money can buy. There are great spin-offs throughout the local tourism industry and the economy, as history has proved. Following the shooting of Harry Potter in Alnwick it was reported that Alnwick Castle enjoyed a 120% increase in visitors, bringing an extra £9m in to the economy. The council is committed to do whatever it can within its powers to encourage and welcome film crews to Northumberland. We look forward to Vera hitting the nation’s TV screens and showcasing our wonderful county. ”
Based on the internationally best-selling novels of North East author Ann Cleeves, the series is a flagship part of ITV’s spring line-up and has been tipped as a successor to Frost. The first episode, ‘Hidden Depths’, was part-funded by Northern Film & Media and the production was supported by the agency’s production service.
The screening, on 28 April, takes place at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle, and includes a special Q & A featuring Brenda Blethyn, David Leon, author Ann Cleeves, producer Elaine Collins, and Northern Film & Media’s creative director Agnes Wilkie, chaired by Foyle’s War and Monarch of the Glen writer Michael Chaplin.
Those attending will hear about the creative and commercial journeys involved in the production of Vera and get first sight of a major new series putting the region on national screens. The event is being run in partnership with the Royal Television Society and ITV.
Agnes Wilkie, Creative Director, Northern Film & Media
“ Hot off the heels of the success of United , Vera will see the North East’s stunning locations and ability to deliver major drama demonstrated in a peak time network slot for the second consecutive week. The North East is gaining an international reputation for producing hit TV drama thanks to attractive investment opportunities, a first class production service and the support of the region’s local authorities.”
The North East is the UK’s only true film friendly area in the country. All the local authorities in the region have committed to embrace the benefits of film production by signing up to the Northern Film & Media Filming Friendly Partnership Charter - the Regional Screen Agency’s key strategy for bringing more film and TV to the North East of England.