THE BBC has axed a prime-time period drama which ploughed revenue into a Wearside estate.
The Lambton Estate, near Bournmoor, was beamed into millions of homes during its time as the setting for multimillion-pound drama The Paradise.
Despite two successful series, which pulled in around six million visitors, the show will not be returning to screens.
A spokeswoman for the BBC said: “We are incredibly proud to have made two successful series of period drama The Paradise for BBC One. However, in order to make room for new dramas to come through, The Paradise won’t be returning.”
The channel created a whole set at the estate’s crumbling Lambton Castle, the ancestral seat of the Earls of Durham, as well as using nearby Biddick Hall for scenes,
The crew would spend around five months at a time filming at the specially-constructed Victorian shopping street, with the final series being aired last autumn.
Based in an 1870s department store, the drama followed its charismatic owner, Moray, and his compelling love triangle with Katherine and Denise.
Actors who lived in the area during filming included Ben Daniels, whose TV acting credits include Cutting It and House of Cards, who played Tom Weston in series two.
Former Coronation Street actress Sarah Lancashire was also popular as Miss Audrey, the snobbish head of the ladieswear department, who she played in the first series.
Bob Duff, events manager at The Lambton Estate, said: “We just found out at the end of January that The Paradise would not be returning and we are disappointed, not only for the estate, but the community. It spread its tentacles far and wide in terms of accommodation and services. There were also lots of local actors employed as extras.
“We don’t know why it wasn’t commissioned for another series, one can only assume that costume dramas are very expensive to make.
“But it may open the door for other filming companies to use the estate, we’ve already had Inspector George Gently and The Dumping Ground (a spin-off from Tracy Beaker) film here.”