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Gentleman Jack's Halifax home - Shibden Hall enjoys increase in visitors due to TV series

PUBLISHED: 16:09 03 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:59 03 July 2019

Suranne Jones as Anne Lister in Gentleman Jack (C) BBC/Lookout Point/Ben Blackall

Suranne Jones as Anne Lister in Gentleman Jack (C) BBC/Lookout Point/Ben Blackall

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The BBC One drama's impact trebles visitors to Shibden Hall in Halifax

Shibden Hall, Halifax, and the famous 'Paisley Shawl' lawn which was added after Anne Lister's death (c) Gordon RatcliffeShibden Hall, Halifax, and the famous 'Paisley Shawl' lawn which was added after Anne Lister's death (c) Gordon Ratcliffe

TV series Gentleman Jack attracts nearly six million people viewers per episode and has proved to be hugely popular with the people of Yorkshire, with an average audience of nearly 600,000 viewers are tuning in each week across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

The series to follow the story of Halifax land owner Anne Lister (Suranne Jones) and her relationship with Ann Walker (Sophie Rundle). Anne Lister's extensive diaries chornicled her daily life, including her lesbian relationships and her work improving Shibden Hall, which she inherited after the death of her aunt in 1836.

Writer and Executive Producer Sally Wainwright said: "I am delighted that so many people across the region have been enjoying the show. I hope they're all as thrilled as I am that this bold, brilliant, life-affirming daughter of Halifax is now being celebrated - as she deserves to be - on a global stage."

Since Gentleman Jack began airing on BBC One and on HBO in America, Calderdale Council has reported an increase in tourism in the region, with visitor numbers to Shibden Hall, the home of Anne Lister, increasing threefold.

This medieval timber-framed hall was in possession of the Lister family for more than 200 years and has been a public park since 1926.

Councillor Susan Press, Calderdale Council's Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, said: "We're thrilled that visits to Shibden Hall have trebled since Gentleman Jack aired. The impact was immediate, with visitors travelling from as far as America to see the historic hall where Anne Lister lived, and the many other great things that Halifax and Calderdale have to offer. That includes walking in Anne's footsteps in the places she visited, like The Piece Hall and the 900-year-old Halifax Minster.

"We are working to harness the long-term impacts of Gentleman Jack across Calderdale - especially now a second series has been confirmed - taking tourism and our distinctiveness as a heritage destination to the next level."

A second series of the popular drama has already been commissioned. It will film in various locations across West Yorkshire including Huddersfield, Batley, Bradford, Leeds and, of course, Shibden Hall in Halifax.

Read our full interview with Gentleman Jack writer Sally Wainwright in our July issue

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