Film crews head to former RAF Coltishall

The control tower at the former RAF Coltishall airbase, which is proving to be a big hit with film-m

The control tower at the former RAF Coltishall airbase, which is proving to be a big hit with film-makers. Photo: Bill Smith

Its long-term future use may still be somewhat up in the air, but council bosses have revealed how film crews have been making use of the former RAF Coltishall base.

The decision by Norfolk County Council to spend £4m of taxpayers' money to buy the former airbase has been controversial, with people living nearby questioning the rate of progress at regenerating the base.

But while various planning applications go forward, it seems the base has proved popular with film-makers, although the council is reluctant to reveal just who has been shooting at the 600-acre base.

Steven Reilly, spokesman for Norfolk County Council, said: 'Creative England holds a directory of film locations and we have ensured that the Coltishall site is held within their respective directories.

'This has led to filming taking place at the site, as well as a number of enquiries about filming opportunities '

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He said, contractually, he could not reveal exactly who had paid to film at RAF Coltishall, but said it included a 'major car company' for a promotional video.

He said Channel Four had filmed for a 'prime time show' while cameras have also captured promotional footage for vintage racing cars.

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And there have also been a number of small budget/self-funded films made at the former airbase, while post-production companies have shot footage there.

The council charges a rate for using the site, which varies depending on whether it is indoor or outside space, or both.

The council said the amount that brought into the coffers of a council, which this week announced it needed to find another £13m of savings, was commercial sensitive, but that it was in 'single-figure thousands'.

The council was criticised for buying the base without having a business plan in place and parish councils nearby admitted to becoming 'jaundiced' over the apparent lack of progress at regenerating it.

However, Norwich-based Red Triangle Energy, has revealed they want to take on a 25-year lease to create a large scale commercial solar farm at the base.

And Little Melton-based Vitromite, which takes reprocessed glass and turns it into building components, wants to set up a production line at the base, which they say could create up to 250 jobs in the long-term.

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