DC&SDC: Council to proactively attract film location contracts

Councillors have unanimously approved a notice of motion that will see the Business and Culture section include the film industry in its structure and work proactively to attract film location contracts to the City and District.

The motion was brought by SDLP Councillor Shauna Cusack who has been dealing with Derry man and location manager Gavin Kelly.

The Foyleside Councillor said: “The SDLP believes in a just and prosperous new Ireland and as members of this Council, myself and my party believe that Derry and District deserve much lasting prosperity long denied to our region.

“As a Council we should be proactive to identify and take advantage of any opportunities to attract business and employment here to improve the lives of our constituents, that’s our job.

“For a while, I have had the pleasure of dealing with Derry man Gavin Kelly on this issue. Gavin works sourcing locations for major film producers.

“Gavin’s work tasks him with finding suitable locations for productions with unique offerings and we believe our Council area has this in droves.

“Recently Derry came very close to securing part of the Netflix film – The School for Good and Evil starring Charlize Theron and Simon Bassett, known as the Duke from Bidgerton but we lost out to Belfast which, as we all know, is the ‘go to’ hub for productions which decide to come here and Belfast is going from strength to strength.

“The city is currently hosting two major productions for Netflix and Paramount along with several other high profile BBC dramas and are employing over 3,000 crew.

“I feel that we need to increase our ambition and profile in this sector in order to compete for business and to steal a line from a famous movie – if we build it, they will come.”

Supporting the motion, Sinn Féin Councillor Conor Heaney agreed ‘it should be a focus for the Business and Culture Committee of this Council.’ 

DUP Alderman Keith Kerrigan welcomed the motion and said: “You can see how the film opportunity can create such tourism, when you think of the number of areas and sites that were used in Game of Thrones. That wee bit up there in County Antrim – the Dark Hedges – that was just a 10 second clip and yet the amount of tourism that has resulted in was huge.”

UUP Alderman Derek Hussey described it as a ‘no brainer’ before offering his support.

Summing up, Councillor Cusack spoke of her hope to see the City and District become a ‘one stop shop’ for productions’ wants and needs’ before the motion was passed unanimously.

Gillian Anderson

Local Democracy Reporter


Gillian Anderson , Local Democracy Reporting Service