Kent has landed a leading part in the film industry after its Parliamentary bill to assist filming in the county received Royal Assent and became law today (Tuesday).
Kent County Council asked Government to push through the bill that has made Kent the only authority in the UK outside London to have legal powers enabling it to temporarily close roads for filming.
The bill was the result of Kent County Council's passion to support local business and Kent's economy by maximising the multi-million pound benefits from the industry.
It became an Act of Parliament much earlier than expected after passing through without objection.
Kevin Lynes, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development said:"This is fantastic news. Filming brings a serious income into the Kent economy, so we're absolutely committed to nurturing the industry and making Kent a national and international contender for filming.
"Our wonderfully diverse county has everything from dramatic landscapes and historical settings to modern, urban backdrops and the new law means we can offer filmmakers an even better package."
The Kent Film Office, run by Kent County Council, has generated more than £14million for the county's economy in the four years since set up and has attracted projects including BBC drama 'Emma' featuring Michael Gambon and 'Is Anybody There?' starring Michael Caine.
Other Hollywood names to have filmed on location in Kent include Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana for the Other Boleyn Girl, Reese Witherspoon for Vanity Fair and Daniel Craig for The Golden Compass.
The new law aims to attract even more filmmakers to Kent, bringing benefits to Kent businesses, tourism and residents. Although the new law gives legal powers to close roads, the Kent Film Office will continue to work closely with local residents and businesses and take their needs into account.
Tanya Oliver, Director of Strategic Development and Public Access added:"This is really exciting for Kent. We can now offer filmmakers a real flexibility to meet their needs and that's going to make us an even more attractive prospect. I think our county is set for stardom that will benefit everyone." Kent County Council unanimously approved promotion of the bill across all three political parties when it was voted on at Full County Council.
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