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Hot Spots: How Manchester Is Fast Becoming A Magnet For International Productions

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As the UK production boom shows no sign of letting up and capacity and crew shortages in and around London continue to trouble producers, Manchester is fast becoming an attractive destination for international film and television crews.

The city is, as the crow flies, just 163 miles north of the English capital and its high-end 85,000 square foot Space Studios Manchester, a mere five minutes from the city center, has housed prolific productions ranging from Sony/Marvel’s Jared Leto starrer Morbius to Netflix’s Anatomy Of A Scandal to multiple seasons of BBC gangster drama Peaky Blinders.While the city has a long history of hosting local films like 28 Days Later or East Is East as well as lauded British television shows ranging from Queer As Folk to Shameless and the iconic longstanding soap Coronation Street, the last few years have seen the city really ramp up its efforts to position itself as a global filming destination.“What we want to do is make sure we are global reaching,” says Screen Manchester film office manager Bobby Cochrane. “We do 15-20 shows a year in the city, ones that many producers may assume are done in London.

But we’ve got the chops and the know-how and we’re on a mission to really push the city forward.”Back in 2014, a few years after the BBC decided to move the bulk of its operations to Greater Manchester’s MediaCityUK in Salford Quays, the council invested £35M ($42.7M) into transforming the 1970s Fujitsu manufacturing halls in West Gorton, Manchester, to what is now Space Studios.

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