Wetherby is to take a starring role in a major new film set to hit the big screen later this year.
And a group set up to attract visitors to the market town is hailing the shoot for the Ridley Scott produced Christmas feel-good movie Get Santa on February 18 and 19 as a boost to the local economy.
Welcome to Wetherby chairman Cindy Bentley said: “It’s fantastic news for the town.
“Not only will it bring much-needed business into Wetherby, but once the film is shown, it will advertise the delights of the town to a much wider audience.”
She added: “Since the A1 was moved and the service station was built, we have lost a lot of business which is impossible to quantify.
“But, as an example, we used to get a great many coaches stopping off here, especially in the summer. We still have a few, but most of them go to the services.
“One of the reasons I was keen to set up Welcome to Wetherby was to try and pull back the tourists we have lost.”
The production team for the film, starring Oscar-winning actor Jim Broadbent and Rafe Spall, will adorn Wetherby’s town centre with Christmas decorations.
Get Santa spokesman Ian Thomson said: “We will be filming in the town square with a lot of extras.”
Wetherby was chosen after an extensive location search.
Producer Liza Marshall said: “We looked at various towns in the area and decided that Wetherby was the prettiest and would suit our purpose exactly. It will look wonderful with all the Christmas decorations we will bring with us!”
The film, which sees a desperate quest to save Christmas after Santa is locked up just nine days before the big day, is backed by the BFI, Screen Yorkshire’s Yorkshire Content Fund, and Ingenious Media.
Sally Joynson, chief executive at Screen Yorkshire told the Wetherby News: “Investment through Screen Yorkshire’s Yorkshire Content Fund is enabling us to attract brilliant high profile projects such as Get Santa to the region and we’re incredibly fortunate to have such a fantastic range of locations, such as those used by the production in Wetherby, to complete the package for filmmakers.
“The production, which features world renowned actors including Oscar-winner Jim Broadbent, will also be shooting at a number of locations in Leeds and Bradford and we’re sure the residents of Yorkshire will be as excited as we are to see the results on the big screen.”
l See Weekend for more on the stars and the film Get Santa, which will be distributed in the UK by Warner Bros.