Hurrah for Callywood! New drama series will put borough in spotlight

Sarah Lancashire on the set of Happy Valley, which was filmed in locations across Calderdale
Sarah Lancashire on the set of Happy Valley, which was filmed in locations across Calderdale
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It has already provided the backdrop for the award-winning Last Tango in Halifax and Happy Valley.

And now crews will descend on Calderdale once again to film a major new primetime drama, working title The ABC, due to hit screens next year. It is anticipated that the stories will be told over a number of series.

Henry Winkler starred in children's show Hank Zipzer, filmed at the former St. Catherine's School

Henry Winkler starred in children's show Hank Zipzer, filmed at the former St. Catherine's School

The drama will be based in a fictional multicultural secondary school, offering a funny and revealing insight into the daily drama of the teachers, teenagers and families whose lives and cultures collide.

It is created by award-winning writer Ayub Khan Din, who penned East is East, and is being produced by Lawrence Till, whose credits include Shameless and Mr Selfridge.

Calderdale Council, Creative England and The Forge Entertainment have joined forces to bring this huge filming opportunity to the area and maximise the benefits for local people.

The former St Catherine’s School in North Halifax will provide the backdrop for the school scenes, as well as a base for the film crew. The school was also used as the setting for children’s show Hank Zipzer, which starred Happy Days legend Henry Winkler.

Scenes will also be shot in various locations across Calderdale, showcasing the borough’s fantastic scenery.

The council says the filming of the show is expected to bring a massive financial investment to the local economy.

This will come from cast and crew using local businesses at the time of production and raising Calderdale’s profile with a wide audience, with an expected increase in visits and long-term economic benefits.

Councillor Steve Sweeney, Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for communities, said: “Hosting such a major production is a huge success for Calderdale and I can’t wait for filming to start.

A scene from the box office smash East is East, penned by writer Ayub Khan Din, who has been working on the new tv drama ABC, to be filmed in Calderdale

A scene from the box office smash East is East, penned by writer Ayub Khan Din, who has been working on the new tv drama ABC, to be filmed in Calderdale

“We are delighted to be working with The Forge Entertainment and Creative England to make this happen, and to secure economic and community benefits that will be felt for years to come.

“It’s really exciting that local people will have lots of ways to get involved.

“We have stunning locations all across the borough and it’s great to see more and more film crews heading our way, showcasing Calderdale to national and international audiences.”

Lawrence Till (above), series producer for The ABC, added: “Having looked at a range of locations across the greater North, from Liverpool to Hull, we finally decided that Halifax and the wider Calderdale region offered us the greatest opportunities.

“I am looking forward to working closely with the council and local community to bring this exciting new drama to the screen for several years.”