The North could soon be the new South if Martin Cook has his way. Martin is the MD of Leeds International Studios, which he set up in 2006 and which he now has big plans for. The studios, once the factory best known for making board games including Monopoly and Cluedo, has housed productions ranging from Michael Sheen’s, The Damned United, to Wuthering Heights, Lost In Austen and the dark Channel 4 drama, Red Riding.
As business has been so good, plans are now being put in place to double the studio’s 16,000 sq foot space and to add more production offices and other facilities to make it competitive with London studios and attract big productions. Already, one production is scheduled which will double Leeds for London, as it’s far cheaper to shoot in the area than down south..
Currently the local economy benefits from around £12m a year of movie and TV spending, Martin believes the additional space and facilities could take this beyond £80m and make Leeds a creative centre of the UK.
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