Think of filming in Yorkshire and you might not instantly think of Barnsley – but think again!
Nestled at the northern tip of South Yorkshire, Barnsley is home to an array of filming locations and has played host to some landmark film and TV projects in recent years including Victoria (ITV1), Brief Encounters (ITV1), Utopia 2 (Channel 4) and Paddy Considine’s feature film Journeyman.
Barnsley is incredibly film friendly and it was a pleasure filming there for Journeyman. I think it is an undiscovered gem, full of interesting locations, if you scratch the surface you’ll be surprised at the great locations you will find.
Leon Seth, Location Manager, Journeyman
Creative England’s Production Service in Yorkshire has been working with Filming Partners Barnsley Council to profile the towns existing filming locations and uncover some hidden gems.
We value the economic benefits that filming can bring to our borough, both in terms of film making and screen tourism, we are committed to supporting the film industry and those working on productions in our borough. We have a good working relationship with Creative England who are actively promoting Barnsley as a film friendly borough.Sue Thiedeman, Head of Culture and Visitor Economy, BMBC
What makes Barnsley the star attraction?
Barnsley is steeped in a rich industrial heritage, the town was founded on both the coal mining and glassmaking industries, and you’ll see examples of former industrial buildings and glimpses of the old coal pits if you know where to look.
The town also has sleek modern architecture and grand period buildings including the stately 1930’s Town Hall a finely preserved building built in Portland stone which dominates the town centre. But it’s not just the urban locations that have film makers interest – bordering the iconic Peak District, Barnsley boasts some stunning rural landscapes just a stone’s throw from the town centre. Primetime TV dramas such as Jamaica Inn (BBC1) and Jericho (ITV1) have caught Barnsley countryside locations on screen, and the borough is also home to quaint period towns and villages such as Penistone which also feature in ITV’s Brief Encounters.
Penistone village in Barnsley offered ITV’s Brief Encounters not only a warm welcome but a period cinema and use of Town Council offices. The cinema allowed us to think out of the box with the full use of their facility. It was only a shame we could not stay for longer….!
James Muirhead, Location Manager, Brief Encounters – ITV1
And if you’re looking for opulent splendour – the district of Barnsley is home to the beautiful Cannon Hall Museum, a fine Georgian mansion and just down the road Wentworth Castle Gardens and Stainborough Park which featured in period drama Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (BBC1).
To be tasked with placing drama the scale of Jericho in any borough was always going to be a sizable task. To deal with Barnsley Council in planning & highways amongst numerous other departments within the council made the process a whole lot easier. Barnsley offers a varied landscape and an accommodating authority to work with.
James Muirhead, Location Manager, Jericho – ITV1
Cannon Hall (interior)
Barnsley is also easy to travel to located just off the M1 motorway and being equally placed between Yorkshire’s two busiest filming cities Leeds and Sheffield – both are just 30 minutes’ drive away. Leeds and Sheffield have a long established track record for filming and a large number of skilled freelance crew and film and TV facility companies; with Yorkshire’s regional studios also based within easy reach, giving Barnsley easy access to Yorkshire’s regional industry infrastructure. Barnsley also has its own studio build-space at Goldthorpe which is currently being developed as the Northern Film & TV Studios which was home to BBC2’s documentary series Britain’s Hardest Grafter.
Pithead at Oaks Lane
Take a look at some of Barnsley filming locations here
Barnsley provides great period locations along with ease of use thanks to the willingness of owners and authorities. Victoria Series 2 filmed at Wentworth Castle Gardens over two days this year, the management and staff could not have been more helpful and the scenes will be shown on ITV 1 this Autumn & Xmas.
Jim Allan, Supervising Location Manager, Victoria Series 2 – ITV1
Barnsley was a great town in which to film and the council’s approach was overwhelmingly positive and supportive throughout. The scenes for Utopia 2 were highly dramatic and not for the faint hearted but everyone who helped make it happen treated things like a normal day at the office!
Richard Knight, Location Manager, Utopia Series 2 – Channel 4