A TV thriller which could become Bournemouth’s answer to Broadchurch is a step closer to reality.

A short version of Faithless was met with “rapturous applause” at an event put on for potential investors.

The project already has Sean Gilder – of Poldark, Hornblower and Shameless – signed up as a star, subject to contract, along with Jake Davies and Jack Gordon.

Described as a gothic thriller, it centres on a former terrorist-hunter who has relocated from Belfast to Bournemouth, and who faces a traumatic life event. A short film version has already impressed audiences at festivals.

The aim is to sell the concept to a company such as Netflix.

A screening and investment event was held at Bournemouth University and hosted by Dorset Business Angels (DBA).

Director and co-writer Steve McCarten said: “It was a warm welcome for Paul Draper, my writing partner on Faithless the TV series, and me at the DBA-hosted event in partnershipwith David and Lynn Coleman from DAL Strategy.

“The short form proof of concept was received with rapturous applause and the there was a great buzz in the room in relation to this great Dorset based TV project that’s currently in development. “

The director has been scouting locations including Southbourne Beach, Hengistbury Head, Bournemouth town centre and Durdle Door.

Mr Draper said: “It was a thrill to get the opportunity to present our vision at such a well-organised and supportive event. We've written what we feel is a terrific first episode, and look forward to igniting further interest in this exciting TV opportunity for Bournemouth and the region.”

Don McQueen, chairman of DBA, said: “The screening event went extremely well. There was an excellent turnout and incredibly diverse audience – including serious investors, introducers, financial advisers and curious potential investors, all keen to learn more about the investment opportunity.

“There were some good insightful questions to the panel from would be investors and at Dorset Business Angels we are hopeful of some money being raised.”

Lynn Coleman of Bournemouth business DAL Strategy, who is associate producer with husband David, said: “We were thrilled that everyone had a great time. David and I know that we are trying something new here and we are excited to see that at this stage of the project there is so much enthusiasm and momentum.”

She added: “We will now work with Dorset Business Angels to complete the first round of funding.”