BBC drama to move from Rochdale to Scotland


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The Independent Online

After another school year marred by teen pregnancy, drug dealing and murder, Waterloo Road has failed its final inspection.

The troubled fictional comprehensive will quit the state sector and relocate to Glasgow under a £25m move. Production of BBC1's hit school-set drama is being switched from Lancashire to Glasgow.

The drama, starring Amanda Burton and Robson Green, is currently filming its seventh series in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, the setting for the school. The series will culminate in what the BBC describes as "a dramatic and explosive storyline which will see a number of teachers and pupils setting up a new independent school in Scotland".

The move is a blow to Rochdale and the stars of the series, which enjoys five million viewers and won most-popular drama at this year's National Television Awards. Reece Douglas, who plays year 10 student Denzil Kelly, tweeted: "No chance I'll be going."

Critics have asked why a major BBC drama is leaving Lancashire, when the corporation is completing a £200m relocation from London to Salford. Waterloo Road is made by the Glasgow-based Shed Productions.

Ben Stephenson, controller of BBC drama commissioning, said: "Whilst sad to leave Rochdale, Shed immediately saw the potential of the new stories they could tell, as well as being excited about putting down roots in their native Scotland."

Other BBC dramas are relocating to cut costs. Holby City is moving from its Bristol production base to Cardiff. Doctors may move from Birmingham.