Better: Where is the BBC crime drama filmed? Which Leeds locations will you spot in the Leila Farzad series?

Where is Better filmed? The cast and creators of the BBC One series discuss the locations used across Leeds in the making of the five-part crime drama.

By Alex Fletcher Published: 13 February 2023 - 6.02pm

Leila Farzad and Andrew Buchan lead the cast of BBC One’s latest must-watch crime thriller Better.

A series about blurred lines, murky moral dilemmas and the West Yorkshire criminal underworld, the five-episode drama was shot mainly in the city of Leeds.

Here is everything you need to know about the filming locations and why Yorkshire was chosen as the setting for this new series.

Where is Better set and filmed?

Leila Farzad and Andrew Buchan BBC

Better is set in Leeds and was filmed entirely in the West Yorkshire area in 2022.

The local media spotted the cast filming scenes in several notable locations last year including the city's Corn Exchange and the Sir Fred Hoyle bypass in nearby Bingley.

The Yorkshire Post reported that filming also took place near Kirkstall Road, Allerton Street and Cardigan Lane.

Leeds Live reported that scenes were filmed at the Hidden Wardrobe clothing store, and night scenes were shot on St Paul’s Street and South Parade.

The show's finale was filmed at Plumpton Rocks, a popular attraction near Harrogate and Knaresborough.

Why did Better choose Leeds?

Leila Farzad filming Better in Leeds BBC

The show’s creators Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent said that they picked Leeds as the location because they wanted a city with a “distinct identity”. They also revealed that executive producer Jane Featherstone’s connections to Leeds helped them choose the West Yorkshire location.

“It's such a vibrant, cosmopolitan, interesting characterful city. Once we decided to set it in Leeds, it was about opening the whole thing up to as many cast and crew members as we could find to imbue it with that authentic flavour of the place,” they said.

Talking about their favourite locations, Jonathan said: “Plumpton Rocks up near Harrogate was an amazing location to shoot. We shot there twice, once in the day and once again overnight, which serves as the finale of the show.

"It's such a striking, wonderful place with these amazing rock formations and a man-made lake which felt like an evocative place to set the emotional finale of our show.”

Ceallach Spellman and Andrew Buchan in Better BBC

Sam added: “We also used a former disused police station as our production base, which was quite an amazing place to have as your base, there were cells in the basement, which were fairly eerie, having not been used for 15 or 20 years.”

The Better cast talk Leeds filming locations

Leila Farzad as Lou in Better BBC

“It was an absolute treat. It's such a beautiful city,” said the show's lead Leila Farzad, recalling her time in Yorkshire.

“Being able to see the town hall every day, filming in places like the corn market exchange, there's wonderful places to eat and being by the canal... it's a real mixture of old and new.

“It was incredible to immerse myself in it for the time that I was shooting there. 90% of the crew were based in Manchester or Leeds so talking to them every day really helped fuel the motor of Lou Slack and imbued me with an extra something.”

Her co-star Andrew Buchan, who had previously filmed in Leeds for BBC One thriller The ABC Murders, described Leeds as “an amazing city”.

“It's so vibrant and full of life with brilliant people and the banter's class!” he said.

Samuel Edward-Cook, who plays Ceri in the series, grew up near Leeds in the city of York.

“I know Leeds very well and I spent a lot of time here as a kid,” he said.

“So it's lovely to be up north and to be near home for a while. Leeds is a great city and the local crew have been brilliant.

“Most of us are all from up north and it's just lovely, it's a big family. Leeds as a city is fantastic. It's a great place to work and there's never a dull moment. I'm actually staying right in the centre of Leeds, and it is pretty wild on a weekend, it's a thriving city.”

Fellow Northerner Ceallach Spellman said: “Filming there was class and I just love the north in general. Being from Manchester, it's a home away from home.

"It's great to see more series being made up north. There are more characters being written for working class people, northern working-class people and whilst more can be done, it's so great to have these dramas that are set in these places and set in that world.

“I just hope that we've done Leeds justice and that people from Leeds and Yorkshire are happy with that as well.”

Better is released on BBC One and iPlayer on Monday 13 February.