ITV’s Grace in Burgess Hill: second series crew convert former Lidl and Heights building into stunning sets
Part of the second series of the hit ITV show Grace is set to be filmed in Burgess Hill this autumn.
The programme, based on the best-selling novels by Peter James, stars John Simm as Brighton-based Detective Superintendent Roy Grace.
It also stars Richie Campbell as DS Glenn Branson with Rakie Ayola as ACC Vosper.
Nadine King, centre manager for The Martlets Shopping Centre, said the TV crew have transformed the centre’s former Lidl unit on the shop floor into a morgue set.
“It’s absolutely great,” she said, adding that she is impressed with how convincing it looks.
“They’ve erected partition walls, created the waiting area of the morgue, and the actual morgue area where they will be filming the ‘dead body’ scenes.”
Nadine, who lives in Burgess Hill and took on the centre manager role in March 2020, also said the crew are turning the former Heights building into a police station for the CID scenes.
In addition, the site of the former library building on Civic Way is now being used for the crew’s welfare units, she said.
These include hair, makeup, toilets and canteens, said Nadine, adding that the shoot should continue until December.
“We’re trying to get as many local businesses involved in this as possible,” she said.
“Props have come from local jewellers Garry Spinks and we’ve had a lot of other props come from Eco2Home, a furniture emporium.”
She added that Mama Cafe, which opened in March, has been doing well too with some of the crew using it for coffee and snacks.
“The Grace production has certainly helped,” said Mama Cafe director Eliot Rogers, adding that his coffee has been selling well thanks to the increased footfall in the area.
“We use Craft House Coffee, which is a locally roasted coffee, and we have been receiving a lot of compliments on it,” he said.
“Bagelman Bagels have been going down a treat too.”
Nadine has emailed local artists to encourage them to put forward images that could be used in shops.
Grace is adapted by acclaimed screenwriter and Endeavour creator Russell Lewis, and the first Grace film Dead Simple, which aired on ITV back in March, got 8.8 million viewers.
The second series, by Second Act Productions, Tall Story Pictures and Vaudeville Productions, will consist of three 120-minute films; Not Dead Enough, Dead Man’s Footsteps and Dead Tomorrow.
It will air early next year.
Nadine said she had been working with Sandridge Media about three months ago to secure this opportunity for Burgess Hill.
“I supported the use of the former library land with Mid Sussex District Council,” she said.
“I then incorporated the Burgess Hill artists and gave out local business cards and pushed them to utilise the local trade,” she added.
“If they need a prop and can’t find it here, they can come to me and I will find it within Burgess Hill,” said Nadine.
“The main push for me is that they utilise our local businesses.”
Nadine said she welcomed residents to get excited about the production and appreciates their cooperation, support and consideration towards the TV crew.
Some filming areas will be cordoned off to prevent interruptions as well.
“When I inherited this site it was a challenge and it was in an interim period,” Nadine said.
“I feel very lucky to have worked alongside a great team to deliver this opportunity to Burgess Hill.”
She added that she has supported the client to deliver nine new pop-up businesses for the town and said she is always trying to find ways to ‘put Burgess Hill back on the map’.
“I feel overjoyed about securing this contract, but more so about the benefit it gives our local traders,” she said, adding that the TV show has a large crew.
“Seeing the footfall numbers move and seeing conversion into cash for my local traders is the most important thing and it makes me feel so proud to see the new tenants flourish,” she said.