Lion Salt Works is a star film location and hosts its first international filming

Filming at the salt works

Director Zhang Xiaoying from China Central Television documentary channel CCTV9.

The Lion Salt Works Museum is an “excellent” location for film and photoshoots according to Creative England, hosts of one of England’s leading databases of film and photography locations. As if to prove the point, today (August 25) the Lion Salt Works hosted its first international film crew – a team from China Central Television documentary channel (CCTV9). As the leading state broadcaster in China, this means coverage of the Lion Salt Works has a potential audience of a billion Chinese viewers.

Central China Television is filming a six-episode documentary called ‘Chasing salts around the world’. It will focus on the history and culture of salt around the world. As well as spending a day filming interviews and footage at Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Lion Salt Works Museum and Weaver Hall Museum, located near Northwich, Cheshire, the crew will also be filming famous salt marshes and mines in Europe, including Italy, Poland, France and Germany.

Ms Jialu Zhang, Production Manager, CCTV9 documentary channel, said: “Salt is a very interesting topic for the Chinese because it plays an important part in our history and our culture. We have a proverb that says salt is one of the ‘seven necessities of life’ and we all know that life is not possible if you don’t have salt.

“The Lion Salt Works is a most interesting site and we have enjoyed interviewing and filming your very knowledgeable curators. The history of salt production in Cheshire is really brought to life in these Museums. We wish your new Lion Salt Work Museum well and hope that as a result of our film, you will get many visitors from China.”

Bobby Cochrane, Production Liaison Manager (North) from Creative England, who recently visited the Lion Salt Works site, said: “Creative England holds one the most comprehensive database of film locations in England and we spend a lot of time researching the best sites available. The Lion Salt Works is an excellent addition to our database – it is photogenic, versatile and unique and would work well for a whole range of productions genres.
“Its location next to the canal and close to Marbury Woods and the Flashes is great too. I could even see the backdrop of the weather-boarded pan houses working well for fashion photoshoots or commercials.

“The database houses a variety of stunning locations from grand stately homes to city centre bars & restaurants and if you’d like to see your location on screen then please register your property.”

Over the past two years, Cheshire has seen a rise in production activity with 117 productions shot, which includes 26 TV dramas, and delivering approximately £5.8m of on location spend.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Wellbeing at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Years of work have gone into meticulously restoring the Lion Salt Works and making it into an outstanding, award-winning museum. Everyone involved in the Museum is delighted that it also attracting international film crews and that Creative England thinks that it has great potential as a film and photography location.”

The Lion Salt Works Museum was opened on June 5 following a four-year, £10m restoration by Cheshire West and Chester Council and thanks to a £5m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The museum, has already hosted over 4000 visitors and is proving a top industrial heritage attraction. It gives a fresh insight into the story of salt and its significance to Cheshire and the UK. One of the last four historic open-pan salt-making sites in the world, the site has a unique industrial heritage and it’s this that’s recognised by the Museum, unusually, also having the status of a Scheduled Ancient Monument.