FILMING for a new Netflix series documenting the history of the beautiful game has been taking place in the Bradford district over the past couple of days.

Filming and production crews have been in Bradford city centre and the village of Saltaire filming the six-part period drama, titled The English Game.

Headed by creator of ITV’s global hit Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes, the series is the latest production to come to Bradford - a UNESCO City of Film - for filming to take place.

Victoria Road, at the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saltaire, was taken back in time to the late 1800s for the series, which tells the story of the creation of football, which has grown to become the most popular sport on the planet.

It explores the invention of modern football, and how the figures behind its creation crossed class divides to develop the game and make it accessible to all, from the elite at England’s private schools, to the working classes working in factories.

Yesterday, shops were transformed in Saltaire, with one becoming Darwen Post Office and others becoming greengrocers, butchers and family homes.

Actors could also be seen milling around in the village in Victorian period costume, complete with flat caps, bowler hats, top hats, moustaches and mutton chops.

Darwen, a town in Lancashire near Blackburn, was formed in 1870 and was the first football club in the world to have paid professional players, and was an early pioneer of professional football in northern England.

Filming in Bradford city centre also took place over the weekend, with horse drawn carriages and more actors in Victorian clothing seen filming outside City Hall.

The series is being directed by Birgitte Stærmose and Tim Fywell, who directed the BBC’s acclaimed drama Happy Valley, and is due on Netflix in 2020.

It will feature Edward Holcroft, best known for starring in the Kingsman film franchise, Craig Parkinson, who played Matthew ‘The Caddy’ Cottan in Line of Duty, and Henry Lloyd-Hughes, best-known as the bully Mark Donovan in The Inbetweeners and Killing Eve villain Aaron Peel, as part of an ensemble cast.

Councillor Martin Love (Green Party, Shipley) said the film crews were welcome in Saltaire and provided a positive boost for the village.

He said: “We have had the film crew here before, and this portrays Saltaire in a good light.

“This seems to be quite a big production, and the crew have been attracting quite a lot of attention, with crowds watching the filming.

“They have transformed some of the shop fronts and while it does cause some disruption for residents, the crew got in touch in recent weeks to keep them informed.

“The City of Film people tell us it brings a lot of business into the district, and the production company have made a donation to the Saltaire Village Society, which is always welcome, and this brings more tourism to Saltaire and can only be beneficial for local businesses.

This is not the first time Julian Fellowes has brought his production team to Bradford, having used Little Germany for filming in Downton Abbey.

It follows a long list of TV series and films that have used the Bradford district for filming, including Peaky Blinders, National Treasure, and Gold.