Beds, Herts & Bucks

Film-making boost for Hertfordshire due to new bill

Behind the scenes still from The King’s Speech
Image caption The King’s Speech was filmed at Elstree Studios, Hatfield House and Knebworth House

Making films in Hertfordshire could become easier after the council backed a private bill to allow quick road closures for location shoots.

Hertfordshire County Council is to promote a parliamentary bill to extend legal powers to shut roads.

The new law would enable the council to act quickly while taking account of traffic and local residents' issues.

The film industry is worth about £19m a year to the county and the council wants to attract further investment.

Morris Bright, deputy cabinet member for resources and economic wellbeing, said: "Hertfordshire is already a popular choice for film and television production.

"By making our area even more attractive to the media industry, it will provide a further and much needed boost to our local economies."

War Horse

The council said the county had world-class studios at Elstree and Leavesden.

TV producers and film-makers often need locations at short notice but find applications for permission are complex and take a long time.

Locations in the county have already been used in films such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, The King's Speech, A Clockwork Orange, War Horse and the Harry Potter series.

The new powers could enable the council to close roads temporarily for filming and to issue permission to place equipment on the highway for short periods of time.

The proposed bill will go before Parliament on 27 November and will become law after Royal Assent.

A public consultation on the issue ended on 31 August and the earliest the bill could become law is July 2013.

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