We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded £5,000 by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to conduct a feasibility study to develop a brand new film location experience at the Historic Dockyard.
The Historic Dockyard Chatham is widely recognised in the film and tourism industry as a film location. The iconic backdrop of the Dockyard has featured in a number of blockbuster TV and Films, including productions by Warner Brothers, Universal Pictures and Neal Street Productions. We are home to the Official Call the Midwife Location Tour, welcoming thousands of visitors each year through our successful partnership with Neal Street Productions.
Feasibility Study on the development of a Screen Tourism Attraction
With genuine Victorian and Georgian buildings, cobbled streets, docksides and historic warships, the Historic Dockyard has been the location of choice for feature films, popular TV series and promotional videos. In recent years, we have gained additional recognition as the filming location for the popular TV series Call the Midwife. Fans from around the world now visit the Dockyard to experience the setting first-hand.
With the UK Shared Prosperity Funding we will undertake a feasibility study to explore the opportunity of introducing a brand-new film location tour and experience at The Historic Dockyard Chatham.
Medway – a Screen Tourism Destination
Screen tourism refers to the industry in which visitors flock to a location that has been featured in films, TV shows, or other forms of media. Screen tourism provides a direct connection with the location of a film or TV series, whereby a trip to a set or filming location creates a truly unique visitor experience. The UK has seen huge benefits of screen tourism in destinations strongly associated with a popular TV show or film. Visit Kent reported that in 2021/22, it was estimated that filming generated a record breaking £8 million towards the Kent economy, due to the presence of internationally acclaimed film and TV productions such as Call the Midwife and James Bond.
A Feasibility Study on a screen tourism attraction at The Historic Dockyard Chatham has the potential to contribute to the Shared Prosperity Fund Communities in Place priority in several ways:
- Placing Medway on the map as a screen tourism destination would foster community pride by demonstrating the appeal and desirability of a place such as Medway.
- Medway garnering positive attention in popular media would impact how both residents and those outside the local authority area perceive Medway.
- An influx of tourism revenue would support local businesses, create job opportunities, and increase life chances and quality of life for Medway residents.
- Heightened appreciation for Medway’s cultural heritage and historical significance – potentially leading to increased community interest in the preservation and protection of local landmarks and historic sites.
The Historic Dockyard Chatham has been integral to the history of Chatham and neighbouring Medway towns for over 400 years. Its position as one of the most important naval dockyards in Britain is tightly bound up with the social, economic and political history of both the local area and of the country as a whole. Engaging local audiences through a film location experience, would widen public participation and access to the cultural heritage that the Dockyard and Medway has to offer.