From education to employment

Bradford College plays a major role in new ITV drama, Girlfriends.

Higher Education students from the Northern School of Creative Industries supported location shooting for the latest show from BAFTA award-winning screenwriter Kay Mellor. Filming took place during the summer holidays for the six-part drama that stars Zoë Wanamaker, Phyllis Logan and Miranda Richardson as lifelong friends Gail, Linda and Sue. Miranda Richardson’s character runs ‘Adorable’ magazine, whose offices were created in the £10million Advanced Technology Building.

Students and staff may not instantly recognise the place however as classrooms and meeting places were transformed into the offices of the bridal magazine for the purposes of the shoot which saw former Buffy The Vampire Slayer actor Anthony Head join Miranda Richardson on set for the college-based scenes.

Girlfriends is the second major TV drama to be filmed in association with the Northern School of Creative Industries, Prime Studios and Bradford City of Film in a year and this is set to continue. The college hosted a 14-week shoot for the BBC 1 drama Gunpowder in the Garden Mill Studio where a 17th century set was built and featured heavily throughout the production. Gunpowder was broadcast on BBC1 in November, starring Liv Tyler and Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington.

Nathan Kelly, Head of Faculty, Arts and Creative Industries (HE) said: “Working so closely with the production companies on campus has proved a unique opportunity for our students who are preparing for a career in the creative industries. Enabling them to be at the centre of the growth in productions in the region, supporting High end television drama, coupled with our industry led and designed HE courses provides our students with a unique set of creative skills that the industry really need. What’s even better is that the growth of film and TV industries in Yorkshire and Humber is outstripping every other part of the UK.”

Yorkshire based film and TV production increased in Yorkshire by 40% in 2015 to 2016 and Bradford is at the heart of this. As the industry in Yorkshire continues to grow, so too does the demand for studio space, skilled labour, particularly craft and technical skills like costume design, set design, production management, media make up and prosthetics.

Hit show Peaky Blinders and a comedy starring Maxine Peake called Funny Cow have also shot in Bradford as the city grows its reputation for being a great filming location.

The Northern School of Creative Industries offers degree-level courses in mediafilmmedia make-up and prostheticsperforming arts, technical and production arts and music  for the creative industries.

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