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Film & TV brought £1m into the Cumbrian economy

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Film and TV productions brought an estimated £1million into the Cumbrian economy in 2019. These latest figures have been unveiled ahead of the worldwide release of Dolittle starring Iron Man himself Robert Downer Junior and partially filmed in Cumbria.

The blockbuster takes on a much-loved classic, with the Marvel star appearing alongside the likes of Rami Malek, Antonio Banderas, Emma Thompson and more. It hits cinema screens on 7 February, and alongside the family-friendly adventure, viewers will also be treated to glimpses of Kirkby Lonsdale, where parts of the filming took place in May 2018.

The new figures from Creative England highlight the attraction of Cumbria not only to visitors but also to location scouts seeking the perfect setting for their features. In 2019 alone TV viewers eagerly tuned into ITV’s Deep Water and the BBC’s The A Word, and 2020 promises even more with the release of big screen feature films including Peter Rabbit 2 and Supernova.

The value of film tourism cannot be underestimated. Scottish attractions have reported an increase in national and international interest due to the ‘Outlander Effect’, with fans of the Starz series inspired to follow in the show’s footsteps. Cumbria’s hospitality industry also receives direct benefits from hosting production crews in nearby hotels and restaurants, especially during quieter periods.

Gill Haigh, Cumbria Tourism MD, says “We love welcoming film and TV productions to Cumbria – our county is home to such a range of different landscapes and backdrops and with film crews bringing in over six figures of income to Cumbria last year they form an important part of the local economy.

“With so many programmes and films set throughout Cumbria there are plenty of ways for businesses to get involved in film tourism. Easy-to-digest information or guides available for those seeking out specific locations or themed activities during their stay can really personalise a fan’s visit to the county, helping them to stay longer and return to experience everything Cumbria has to offer.

“It was amazing to see Kirkby Lonsdale’s market square transformed for Dolittle – it felt like you were walking straight into the film! I can’t wait to pay a visit to my local cinema and see the finished product for myself.”

Dolittle will be available to watch at cinemas across Cumbria, including Kendal’s Brewery Arts Centre, Zeffirellis in Ambleside, Keswick Alhambra, Workington Plaza, The Royalty Cinema in Bowness, Rheged and more.

To learn more about making the most of film tourism, or how to put your business forward for future filming opportunities, contact Cumbria Tourism at [email protected]

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