Belfast Telegraph

Waterloo Road bound for Greenock

BBC school drama Waterloo Road will be based in the town of Greenock as part of its relocation to Scotland after six years set in a Lancashire town.

The move will see the programme's stars take up residence in the classrooms of the former Greenock Academy building.

Now filming its seventh series, the popular drama - which currently stars Strictly Come Dancing hopeful Chelsee Healey - is moving its production as part of the BBC's drive to increase network programming from Scotland and other UK nations.

Around 200 jobs and £25 million in direct investment will also be generated by relocating to the town, which is about 25 miles from Glasgow.

Eileen Gallagher, chief executive officer of Shed Productions, which makes the programme, said: "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."

The relocation from Rochdale will be played out in a "dramatic storyline" in which some of the current teachers and pupils at the troubled comprehensive set up an independent school in Scotland.

Gaynor Holmes, BBC Scotland's executive producer, said: "BBC Scotland and Shed have worked brilliantly together on making Waterloo Road the award-winning drama that it is, so it feels right that we're now bringing it to Scotland.

"We also know Greenock well, having filmed there for River City in the past, so we know we'll get a warm welcome when we set up home and we're all very excited about the move."

Waterloo Road, which attracts more than five million viewers, triumphed at this year's National Television Awards to beat Sherlock and Doctor Who to the most popular drama title.

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