Former Alnwick school turned into fictional police station for Sky One Heist TV series

Producers of The Heist have left no stone unturned in their quest for authenticity.

Sunday, 30th June 2019, 1:11 pm
The incident room.

The former Duchess’s Community High School site in Bailiffgate, Alnwick, has been transformed into a fictional police station and will be a focal point of the Sky One series.

A team of 15 detectives, some currently serving and others recently retired, will be operating from the building as they attempt to close in on the culprits.

The last series, filmed in Thirsk, saw teams challenged to steal £250,000 from a van, which contestants could keep if they managed to dodge a team of investigators for two weeks.

The custody suite.

Shine TV’s Stephen Bryce, production designer, said: “It’s clear to see the changes we’ve made on the exterior with the police signage but most of the changes have been to the interior.

“We’ve had to reconfigure some of the old school rooms to create working cells complete with cell doors, large keys and hatches that go up and down.

“There are lots of finer details like the carpets and desks which have to be just right and we’ve created hundreds of graphics.

“All the posters have to be curated by us and we have to take ownership of that. It’s a phenomenal amount of work – we even have branded police pens!

A prison cell hatch.

“For everyone who goes into that police station, it’s an immersive experience. It’s got to be believable so can’t just look like it appeared yesterday.

“On the other hand, we don’t want it looking like a museum so it’s got to be the right mix.”

The fictional police station on the site of the former Duchess's Community High School.
Authentic posters have been included on the set.
The incident room - note the portrait of the Queen is found in every UK police station.
The Detective Chief Inspector's office.
The Detective Chief Inspector's office.
The former Duchess's Community High School on Bailiffgate has been turned into a police station for filming of The Heist.
The fictional police station on the site of the former Duchess's Community High School.