Film company eyes home at former RAF Coltishall base

The former RAF Coltishall base. Picture: Mike Page

The former RAF Coltishall base. Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

The former RAF Coltishall base could become home to a leading British independent film and television production company, if planning permission can be secured.

October Films, which has bases in London and New York, wants to use the Jaguar Simulator building at the newly renamed Scottow Enterprise Park for television production work, costume and prop storage, and editing.

The company is seeking a lease of up to five years on the building at the former air base, which Norfolk County Council controversially bought for £4m in 2013, saying it would create jobs and generate money for the council.

October Films, whose credits include the recent Operation Stonehenge: What Lies Beneath documentary and Rude Tube, will first need to get the go-ahead from North Norfolk District Council to use the building.

But Bev Spratt, chairman of Norfolk County Council's economic development sub committee, said he hoped the plans would go ahead.

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He said: 'The former Jaguar Simulator building lends itself brilliantly for film and TV production use. It is a deceptively large building which includes a mixture of offices and really quite big rooms.

'From the time we acquired the site we have had interest from film-makers. In addition, we have had a number of organisations from the creative industry use the site for location filming and a growing number expressing an interest in coming to the site for studio production uses, so momentum is starting to build.

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'We believe Scottow Enterprise Park is an excellent location for creative industries, and it would be great to see more of its potential realised in the not too distant future.'

Vaughan Watkins, line producer at October Films said: 'The possibilities for our filming are very exciting, with many new locations within the site itself and the surrounding area.'

The company wants to use the buildings in their filming of a new factual crime drama, Serial Killer – Angel of Decay, with two more films currently in pre-production.

The application is likely to be discussed by North Norfolk District Council's development committee within the next two months.

The council's decision to buy the base sparked controversy, with critics questioning the lack of a business plan for what would happen there.

But work is under way on a £45m solar farm covering 300 acres, while Little Melton-based Vitromite, which takes reprocessed glass and turns it into building components, has permission for a factory in one of the hangars,

• What's your view on progress at the former air base? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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