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Lincolnshire could feature in more films and on TV if a county officer was appointed, according to Lincoln’s MP

Lincolnshire is no stranger to featuring on film and TV – but an MP has suggested a dedicated film officer for the county council would help maximise the potential of our area in blockbuster series or movies.

Film companies have previously used the picturesque location of Lincoln’s uphill area for major productions in recent years, whether it be Lincoln Cathedral transforming into Notre Dame for Ridley Scott’s Napoleon biopic in 2023, or doubling as Westminster Abbey in the 2006 classic The Da Vinci Code starring Tom Hanks.

Burghley House near Stamford has taken on the role of Windsor Castle for seasons four and five of hit Netflix series The Crown, taking the place of Belvoir Castle, near Grantham, which was used for the first three seasons of the show.

The Windsor Castle Fire being filmed at Burghley House. Photo: Netflix
The Windsor Castle Fire being filmed at Burghley House. Photo: Netflix

Lincoln’s MP Karl McCartney is now suggesting that a dedicated film officer, who would be part of Lincolnshire County Council, could help bring more films and TV series of this type to the area, thus boosting the local economy and exposure for Lincolnshire.

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The MP said the cobbles of the Bailgate area “could be dressed as any street from the 14th century onwards,” and confirms he has been a long term advocate of the introduction of a dedicated film officer for Greater Lincolnshire.

“It’s always been my plan and I’ve harboured that plan since I arrived in 2004,” Karl McCartney MP said. “It would bring investment, jobs and excitement to the city.

“Not just Lincoln, though, but the whole of Greater Lincolnshire would feel the benefit. You just know it would take off if a film officer was appointed because once people discover what Lincolnshire has to offer, we’d find an awful lot more filming taking place.”

MP Karl McCartney would like to see an officer appointed to woo film makers
MP Karl McCartney would like to see an officer appointed to woo film makers

The role of film officer has been utilised elsewhere across the country but only in select areas, mainly in several Boroughs of London. Their job is to highlight and promote the best filming locations in their area, and do the foundation work to attract production companies and entice them into using their area as a filming spot.

Mr McCartney says a position like this within Lincolnshire County Council would open doors to major blockbusters using the county as a filming spot, stating that there’s a wide range of locations in the county that would appeal to film producers and directors.

Lincoln Cathedral. istock image
Lincoln Cathedral. istock image

“There are all sorts of emotive and evocative places you can showcase around Greater Lincolnshire, whether it’s going to see the Red Arrows at RAF Waddington, Belton House, the seals in the North East of the county.

“People would come here and think wow, isn’t Lincolnshire a great place to come and visit, as well as film. We’re all very pleased when an area we know appears on the television or in a film, and an opportunity like this just engenders excitement in the community.”

While a dedicated film officer does not appear to be something directly on the radar of Lincolnshire, a senior councillor has said Lincolnshire County Council recently became a member of the Filming in England Partnership, alongside Creative England.

Coun Colin Davie
Coun Colin Davie

Executive councillor for economy and place, Cllr Colin Davie, said: “Increasingly, production companies are looking for new and interesting locations to film in. Showcasing our beautiful county to an international audience is fabulous for our tourist industry and our reputation.

“But we also see economic benefits while film companies are here – to our hospitality, catering and other local businesses.

“Lincolnshire County Council is now a member of the Filming in England Partnership working with Creative England.

“This means our tourism staff actively work with local partners and national agencies to welcome filming to Lincolnshire, helping companies to find great locations in our county to assist film and TV productions.”

But could a film officer be something to help unlock the filming potential of Greater Lincolnshire? Well, Karl McCartney MP certainly hopes so, and thinks his calls are starting to generate traction.

Belton House. Photo: Belton House/National Trust
Belton House. Photo: Belton House/National Trust

“There was resistance to it back in the day when I first suggested it. My argument is always that everything costs money, you just have to speculate to accumulate. When you have nine local councils, it’s not a lot for them all to chip in for one central officer.

“I feel the winds have changed and are blowing in the right direction. I’ve never worked in the film industry and have no axe to grind, I just know there isn’t a great number of these location managers across the country, and it’s quite a small market to show the beautiful places of Lincolnshire to.”

What do you think? Where in the county would serve as a cinematic backdrop? Post your suggestions in the comments below

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