Northampton County signs on for regional film commission

Published 4:49 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2023

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JACKSON – Following in the footsteps of neighboring Bertie County, the Northampton County Board of Commissioners agreed to join a regional film commission that plans to promote and facilitate growth of the industry locally.

The commissioners considered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the subject at their meeting on Aug. 21.

The MOU was sent to Northampton by the Bertie Commissioners who approved the measure at their own meeting earlier this month. The proposal invites several northeastern counties to join together to create the commission in order to share resources that will encourage filmmakers and production companies to come to the region, and their work could stimulate local economic growth and job creation.

In addition to Bertie and Northampton, the other invited counties include Hertford County, Martin County, Chowan County, Perquimans County, and Pasquotank County.

“There are no funding obligations,” stated Board Attorney Scott McKellar as he presented the MOU to the board. “It does state that each party agrees to discuss and consider distributing funds, but there’s no obligation to do so.”

He also noted that the agreement would be a three-year term, and any party can terminate their participation with 30-days notice.

“It seems like film now brings a lot of money and tourism to counties,” said Board Chair Charles Tyner.

He also said joining the regional commission would be a proactive move, so that Northampton County would be prepared if the opportunity comes their way.

“We are ready if you want to come to Northampton County to do any films in our county,” he stated.

Commissioner Melvetta Broadnax Taylor agreed, calling it a “lucrative collaboration.” She noted that North Carolina has made billions of dollars from the film industry over the years, citing past productions in Wilmington as one example.

Broadnax Taylor provided the second after Commissioner Ed Martin motioned to approve the MOU. The vote passed unanimously by the three commissioners in attendance.