Bolton replaces Birmingham in the Peaky Blinders and London for spy thriller The Ipcress File

The unlikely star of tonight’s two big soap operas? Bolt! The former mill town replaces Birmingham in BBC’s Peaky Blinders and London for ITV’s spy thriller The Ipcress File

  • The same street appears in hit dramas Peaky Blinders and The Ipcress File
  • Over 20 shows filmed on location in Greater Manchester last year alone
  • Other recent shows filmed in Bolton include CBBC drama Dodger starring Christopher Eccleston, Channel 4 AIDS drama It’s A Sin and Dundee-set Traces.

America has Hollywood, India has Bollywood, and now Britain has… Bolton.

The former mill town has become such a magnet for film crews that the same street appears in both current Sunday night dramas, replacing Birmingham in Peaky Blinders and London in The Ipcress File.

Le Mans Crescent, an impressive set of Grade II listed civic buildings dating from the 1930s, served as the exterior of the fictional Shelby Sanatorium for Sick Children in the BBC period gangster drama, while in the spy thriller from ITV, he represented Whitehall and the Embankment.

Bolton has become a magnet for film crews, replacing Birmingham in Peaky Blinders

Meanwhile, the ancient city of mills replaces London in The Ipcress File

Meanwhile, the ancient city of mills replaces London in The Ipcress File

Bolton appears again in tonight’s episode, when his former magistrate court will represent Aldermaston Police Station

And that’s just the tip of the Greater Manchester city’s budding stardom, with more than 20 shows filmed in the last year.

Other recent shows filmed in Bolton include CBBC drama Dodger starring Christopher Eccleston, Channel 4 AIDS drama It’s A Sin and crime thriller Traces of Dundee, starring Martin Compston.

ITV’s No Return, starring Sheridan Smith, used the former UK Home Stores building for the interiors of a Turkish hotel.

Upcoming dramas starring Bolton include the latest series of Happy Valley starring Sarah Lancashire; the crime drama Ridley with Adrian Dunbar; Sherwood, a political thriller set in Nottinghamshire, starring Lesley Manville; and The Reckoning, with Steve Coogan playing sexual predator Jimmy Savile.

Over 20 shows filmed on location in Greater Manchester last year alone

Over 20 shows filmed on location in Greater Manchester last year alone

Other productions have stronger ties to the place. The comedy Alma’s Not Normal and the new BBC horror series Red Rose were created by writers from Bolton. Local playwright Jim Cartwright praised the town’s “accommodating northern hospitality” and its varied landscapes. “You can cut from cobbled streets to canals to ramshackle cityscapes to the historic majesty of City Hall, all compact,” he said.

David Mason, of Peaky Blinders makers Caryn Mandabach Productions, said Le Mans Crescent “has a grand scale, represents parts of London well in the period we are covering…and the whole area can be easily closed off”.

And Hilary Fairclough, Deputy Leader of Bolton Council, added: ‘It’s very exciting to see the town becoming a destination for these people. This is something for which we are very grateful.

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