IT HAS seen blockbusters, documentaries and television dramas, and now the New Forest is celebrating its first year encouraging filming in the area.

New Forest District Council has had a partnership with non-for-profit film and TV company Creative England (CE) for the past 12 months, which has helped generate more than £100,000 for the economy.

Projects including the new Star Wars movie, TV drama Spies and a documentary about the area through the different seasons have all been filmed.

The council formed the partnership known as Film:NewForest in May 2016.

District council leader Barry Rickman said: “We are already seeing a boost to the local economy and businesses because of this partnership, as well as keeping an eye on our other aim of protecting this unique and special area. I’m also particularly pleased to see that we are working to support local film students.”

The film locations around the forest range from a castle, a power station and the district council offices in Lyndhurst.

Hayley Armstrong, CE production liaison for the south east said: “We are pleased that we now have 50 more New Forest locations on our database which is generating interest from filmmakers.”

As well as boosting the area’s profile, tens of thousands of pounds have been spent by film and TV crews on accommodation, catering and tradespeople.