Filming has been taking place at City of Bristol College’s redundant Soundwell campus this week for part of a new BBC One drama called Three Girls, based on the true stories of victims of grooming and sexual abuse in Rochdale.
Film crews have taken over the college car park and signs for ‘Stoneway Secondary School’ put up at the college entrance in St Stephen’s Road.
The three-part drama is based on the experiences of the girls who were groomed in Rochdale in the five years between 2008 and 2012. It looks at how they were ignored by the authorities directly responsible for protecting them, and how they eventually made themselves heard. Nine men were subsequently convicted and sentenced.
Three Girls is being made by the team behind the multi-award winning BBC drama Five Daughters, which recounted the final weeks in the lives of the five young women murdered in Ipswich in 2006.
The cast of Three Girls includes former Emmerdale star Lisa Riley as the mother of one of the girls, and Ace Bhatti (from EastEnders) as Nazir Afzal, former Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West. Maxine Peake (Silk and A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Lesley Sharp (Scott & Bailey) play the two women who helped get the girls’ voices heard.
Charlotte Moore, controller of BBC TV Channels and iPlayer, said: “The team behind the award-winning Five Daughters have spent three years talking to the girls, unravelling the shocking scale of abuse, the horror of what they’ve been through and the enormous courage it’s taken for them to speak out.”
The Soundwell campus has been closed since July 2015 and is under offer but it could be 2017 before a sale is reached.
The prospective buyer has yet to be revealed.