Friday, October 28, 2011
A dramatic storyline will be played out at the end of the current series of Waterloo Road (currently broadcasting on BBC1), which will see the Rochdale-based school move to Greenock, when a number of current teachers and pupils move to set up a new independent school.
Shed Productions, who make the popular drama which is currently in its seventh series for BBC Scotland, have reached agreement with Inverclyde Council to lease the former Greenock Academy building to film in for the next two series. The move will see the former Greenock secondary become the new on-screen Waterloo Road school from next year.
In addition to using the former school classrooms on-screen, Shed will also use the rest of the Madiera Street premises as production base for the series.
Production is moving to Greenock from Rochdale as part of the BBC's move to increase network programming from Scotland and the other nations of the UK.
Set-up work by Shed is likely to start as early as next month before set design and construction kicks off in January in time for filming to begin in April next year.
Filming an initial 50 one-hour episodes over two years will provide a significant boost to the Scottish creative sector worth an estimated £20m, while up to 200 jobs are also likely to be created from the move.
Talking about the move, Shed's CEO Eileen Gallagher says: "Waterloo Road has had an incredibly happy six years in Rochdale working with one of the best TV crews in the country. But now we have outgrown our present site and we couldn't resist the BBC offer to take the show to Scotland.
"The former Greenock Academy school will make a great Waterloo Road and the stunning scenery in and around Greenock will be a fantastic asset right on our doorstep. We're really looking forward to coming to Greenock and already we've had a terrific welcome."