Visit Herts launches Screen Tourism Development Program
Did you know that Harry Potter, James Bond, Batman, Indiana Jones and Star Wars all have their on-screen roots in Hertfordshire?
To capitalize on the county’s impressive film heritage, Visit Herts is keen to promote Hertfordshire as a premier tourist destination, with 10 businesses set to benefit from a new scheme to turn cinematic fantasy into reality.
Visit Herts is the destination management organization for the county. Managing Director Deirdre Wells OBE said: “With one in five tourists influenced by what they see on screen when choosing their destination, Hertfordshire has huge potential as an on-screen tourist destination, s backed by a solid list of internationally recognized films and television.
“Developing on-screen tourism experiences provides our county with a fantastic opportunity to reach more elusive consumer segments, while encouraging younger audiences to seek out scenic and heritage sites.”
Hertfordshire film and television heritage
George Lucas filmed the original star wars trilogy at Elstree Studios in the borough of Hertsmere.
Steven Spielberg also shot the first three Indiana Jones blockbusters there, with Harrison Ford playing the whip crack The Raiders of the Lost Ark hero, having also played Han Solo in the star wars movies.
Harry Potter came to life on screen after being filmed at Warner Bros. Leavesden Studios, where there was recently a 20 Years of Hogwarts reunion of the main cast.
All eight Harry Potter films were filmed in Leavesden, where now you can also experience cinematic magic at top Warner Bros. tourist attraction. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.
The Wizarding World spin-off fantastic beasts films have also been made in Leavesden, including April’s third installment, Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets.
The highly anticipated games of thrones prequel, Dragon House, was also filmed in Leavesden.
While Pinewood Studios is best known for being the home of 007, three James Bond films – two official entries in the EON franchise and Sean Connery’s comeback 1983 release Never say never – were made in Hertfordshire.
What is now Warner Bros’ huge state-of-the-art complex was formerly Leavesden Airfield.
The site has been transformed into film studios for the filming of golden eye, Pierce Brosnan’s first James Bond outing.
Brosnan’s second Bond film, tomorrow never dies, was also manufactured in Herts, this time at another converted industrial site in Park Street, near St Albans.
In addition to the great films and series already mentioned, Hertfordshire is often seen on screen thanks to the county’s magnificent country houses and stately homes.
Knebworth House, Hatfield House, Wrotham Park, Brocket Hall, North Mymms Park and Ashridge Estate are frequently used by production crews for filming.
Wayne Manor in 1989 by Tim Burton Batman The film starring Michael Keaton was an amalgamation of Knebworth House and Hatfield House.
Knebworth House is also set to feature in this year’s next edition the flash film, which sees Keaton return as the Caped Crusader.
Released in March, the highly anticipated The Batman The film starring Robert Pattinson as the dual role of Gotham City vigilante detective and his alter ego, reclusive billionaire Bruce Wayne, was also shot at Warner Bros. Studios. in Leavesden.
Netflix’s First Regency-Era Hit Series Bridgerton was partly filmed on location at both Hatfield House and North Mymms Park near Welham Green.
Season 2 of Bridgerton hits the Netflix streaming site on March 25 with the series centered on the romance between Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley).
Netflix’s Royal Drama The crown is based at Elstree Studios and has regularly filmed on location in Herts.
With the historic streets of Hitchin, St Albans Cathedral and the beautiful countryside of Herts also used as film locations, and the 13 Sky Studios Elstree sound stages opening this year, the county has plenty to offer filmmakers.
Filter tourist plans
Ten businesses across Hertfordshire have the opportunity to develop a range of new experiential screen tourism products under the Visit Herts screen tourism development programme.
Launched for apps this week, the developer program is part of Visit Herts’ destination recovery strategy for the county post-pandemic.
It is implemented under the successful UK Community Renewal Fund project, “Stimulating creative innovation and culture-driven regeneration through the film industry“, which is funded by the UK government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.
This exciting new project aims to help 10 businesses in Herts develop and launch new experiential tourism products on screen to attract visitors, extend the tourist season and increase the number of overnight stays.
“We are extremely excited about the launch of our brand new Screen Tourism Development Program,” said Deirdre Wells, Managing Director of Visit Herts.
“If you are an outdoor filming location looking to create an experience from your backlog, a tourism business that wants to attract new audiences through immersive experiences telling the story of filming in Hertfordshire, or perhaps being a creative company specializing in film production that can offer visitors an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how productions are made, we want to hear from you as soon as possible.
How to register
Organizations chosen to participate will be supported to create new revenue streams to support business resilience, attract new markets while increasing length of stay and spend, and encourage lifelong visitors. year, promoting dispersion in less visited areas of the county.
The Screen Tourism Product Development program will provide the expert advice and support needed to turn ideas into a new, market-ready visitor product.
Participating businesses will benefit from an intensive support package worth up to £25,000.
This will include specialist individual support from on-screen tourism consultants and assistance from academic and industry experts from Hatfield University in Hertfordshire, in areas ranging from intellectual property law and marketing to heritage and to local history.
Once approved, applicants can then apply for a grant of up to £8,000 (20% matching funding required) to support the development of the Screen Tourism concept.
They will be supported with the full application process to help ensure expenses are eligible.
Successful applicants will also have access to state-of-the-art facilities and expertise at the Creative Arts School and Innovation Hub at the University of Hertfordshire.
Eligible Hertfordshire businesses interested in getting involved with the Screen Tourism Development Scheme can apply here.
For more information visit here or email [email protected]
Full eligibility criteria and guidance for applicants can be found on the Visit Herts Business website www.visithertsbusiness.co.uk/screen-tourism/screen-tourism-development-programme/
Applications close at midnight, February 2, 2022.