Tatton Locations' North Range is 'box office' as film makers look north | Knutsford Times

Tatton Locations’ North Range is ‘box office’ as film makers look north

By on January 8, 2019

Tatton Locations has officially opened a new workspace for the Film and TV industry at its studio HQ in Altrincham.

The development of the North Range at Ashley Hall has followed an amazing year for Tatton Locations which has welcomed some of the biggest players in broadcasting including the BBC, Netflix, Fox Searchlight, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky.

Recent productions filmed at Tatton Locations’ sites include some of the UK’s most popular TV shows – Peaky Blinders, The Worst Witch, Coronation Street and Hollyoaks. In addition, locations have been supplied to: Fox Searchlight to film scenes for the ‘Tolkien’ biopic starring Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins; Netflix TV series ‘Safe’ starring Michael C Hall: and Sky One’s upcoming TV series ‘Curfew’ starring Sean Bean, Billy Zane, Miranda Richardson and Adrian Lester.

In all more than 850 freelance and film crew jobs have been supported through productions at Tatton Studios in the last year.

Now, with the 560sqm/6027sqft North Range filling up quickly and the increasing interest in Tatton Locations’ offer from major industry companies, plans are being progressed to expand it further.

Tatton Locations, part of the Tatton Group, offers film makers and producers a mixture of rural and historic locations across 6500 acres in Cheshire. Their studio complex, Tatton Studios, which can also be found at Ashley Hall, boasts industry-standard superfast broadband provided by Tatton Tech, two large build spaces, a 54ft broadcast standard green screen and is close to the important broadcast hubs with global reputations of Manchester and Liverpool.

Charlie Greenstein, head of TV & & Film, Tatton Locations, said: “The North Range is our ‘creative hub’ at Tatton Studios and we want to attract a range of different trades within the industry to provide a kind of one stop shop for incoming filmmakers and it’s already proving very attractive.

“Already on site we have companies doing independent production, set design, event and equipment hire as well as an independent camera operator and a web designer and a broadcast lighting company is about to move in.”

Abbie Morrow, Tatton Locations’ TV and Film co-ordinator, added:  “The catalyst for the North Range has been the tremendous interest we’ve had in using our unparalleled portfolio of land and properties, which are all available as locations and include diverse landscapes, working farms, numerous historic houses and estates, and more than six hundred domestic properties.

“We’ve only just launched, but the North Range will be full by the end of the year and it means that we will have to expand further next year to meet the interest we are generating from across the industry.”

Charlie, who is a BBC trained production manager with an extensive background in production, said that the appeal of Tatton Studios is the outside space on offer: “We are in the countryside and there is so much scope for people to think ‘big’.

“We are currently talking to some well-known production companies who are looking for homes for one of their big shows, which is a really exciting prospect. If that happens they may well take on the North Range as their production office.

“TV production has shot up, driven by the generation of original content by the major players, but London is saturated and the industry is looking north, because there is space here for both interior and exterior set builds. We have this, it’s our USP.

“For example, when Fox Searchlight filmed Tolkien here, our massive hardstanding carpark was perfect for their unit bases, they used North Range as their costume department and production office and the 84-acre Ashley Hall Showground to recreate the Battle of the Somme.

“So our space and the fact that we are roughly equidistant from Liverpool and Manchester, which are both seeing a huge upsurge in demand for locations, is a truly compelling proposition.”

One of the first tenants at the North Range is Imagineering Global LLP, an award-winning international architectural design company, employing five people. Founder Paul Danson, who has a host of credits including TV mini-series classic, ‘Brideshead Revisited’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and designer of the Trafford Centre’s giant food hall, said: “This is one of the most peaceful, stimulating and creative places to work from and it’s already having an impact on my business and my approach to my work, the opportunity here is amazing.”

Another tenant is the three-strong Film & TV Productions Group founded by former stuntman Andy Egan, who pulls together investors and production teams for projects, said: “This is a start of a long process, but Tatton Studios will become a proper gem not only for Cheshire but also for the UK.

“Tatton Studios gives a phenomenal opportunity to build sets that you just wouldn’t believe with scores of acres to play with, plus there’s free parking – compare that to London – and so many Airbnb properties to stay at on the estate. I’m proud to be here and to help shape how it will be in the future.”

Additionally, Location Buddha a one-stop event and location supplier, from sales and dry hire of event equipment to complete event design and production, is based at North Range employing 15 full time and 40 season staff.

About Lucy Thorpe

Lucy Thorpe is a freelance journalist who writes for the Knutsford Times - covering stories and news in and around Cheshire and Greater Manchester. If you've got a story to share, or would like to speak to Lucy, please email news@knutsfordtimes.co.uk

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