WEST Bay traders and business leaders are hoping that the ‘Broadchurch effect’ will trigger a bumper summer.

The team behind the website for the Bay, which plays a starring role in the high-profile eight-drama were amazed at the response as soon as the opening scenes, with spectacular clifftop footage, unfolded.

Tourism officials in Dorset have been working hard to maximise the benefits that the ITV1 series can bring to tourism in the west of the county.

The stunning scenery of the Jurassic coast is a major character in the series written by Chris Chibnall from Bridport and starring David Tennant, Olivia Colman and a host of other top TV names.

John May, of westbay.co.uk, said he was astounded to see that as soon as the opening credits rolled, the site was receiving more than 100 visitors a minute.

“It actually took me by surprise,” he said. “I expected some interest once the programme had finished.I checked the site statistics at the first commercial break and it had gone crazy. We have had double the normal number of visitors we would normally expect since the the programme.

“A lot of people are putting the site on their favourites, which means they can come back when they think of booking a visit. “It is a very good sign for this summer and we must keep our fingers crossed. And that was only the first episode – there are seven more to go.”

Meanwhile staff at the Ellipse bistro cafe in West Bay are waiting to see it appear on screen as it was taken over by the film crew.

“We can’t wait to see Ellipse on television,” said Steve Tucker, joint owner. “We could see something special was being created.

“And the response so far has been terrific as people are starting to research the area and wondering where this magnificent scenery is located.”

The fictional Broadchurch Police station is located just behind Ellipse.

“We were fortunate in that a lot of the filming happened around us, some scenes were filmed inside Ellipse, which was great fun,” Steve added.

The film crew and many of the actors were regular visitors to Ellipse, dropping in to get cups of coffee and hot chocolate. Staff member Pippa Horton was even an extra.

“We areproud to say that we were definitely their preferred coffee stop during their three visits to West Bay. The crew and actors were a pleasure to have around, becoming good friends over the course of filming.”

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