L-R: Cllr Mark Dowd, Stephen Woolfenden, and Neil Scales

L-R: Cllr Mark Dowd, Stephen Woolfenden, and Neil Scales

Wirral-based Claire House children’s hospice is being given a donation from Merseytravel after the combined passenger transport executive and authority received thousands of pounds from Warner Brothers to film the new Harry Potter movie in the Queensway tunnel.

Warner Brothers paid Merseytravel £20,000 to use the tunnel, which links Wirral to Liverpool under the River Mersey and is owned and operated by Merseytravel, as a location for four nights.

Cllr Mark Dowd, chair of Merseytravel, said: “Claire House was chosen by our staff as our Charity of the Year and I am delighted it will benefit from such an iconic children’s character as Harry Potter.”

The children and young people who use Claire House are aged from birth to 23 years old and suffer from a life-limiting or life-threatening condition.

The £20,000 cheque was presented to Dowd and chief executive of Merseytravel, Neil Scales, by film unit director Stephen Woolfenden on the set.

Warner Brothers used the location for the latest Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows film, based on J.K. Rowling’s novel of the same name, which was the seventh and final one to be written for her Harry Potter series of stories.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is reportedly being split into two parts in the film version, with the first part due to be released in November next year and the second part in July 2011.

Merseytravel’s Neil Scales, who negotiated the contract with Warner Brothers, said: “We arranged for the filming to coincide with the closure of the Queensway tunnel for routine maintenance. There was a confidentiality clause so we’re not allowed to discuss the filming.”

A 200-strong unit was used to shoot scenes for the new Harry Potter film which follows, in November 2007, Warner Brothers’ last visit shooting a CGI plate in Liverpool’s docks for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

In its quarterly report to Liverpool City Council, which funds the operation, Liverpool Film Office has revealed that 106 film days were recorded in the city in August – equalling the busiest ever month – which puts the city on course to eclipse the 700-day mark by the end of the year, marking a 15% rise on 2008.

The organisation announced the economic impact of these productions will be worth £14million, which will be £2million more than in 2008.

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