Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Immigration Street will show 'thriving' community

A sign saying 'Go away Love Productions, we don't want you filming here' in a window on the street
Image caption Many residents are unhappy with filming taking place in Derby Road

A controversial television programme will show residents in a positive light, a community leader has claimed.

"Immigration Street", a follow-up to Benefits Street, is being filmed in Southampton, despite residents campaigning against it.

Channel 4 and Love Productions were criticised for showing people on benefits in a negative way in their previous programme.

Many Derby Road residents are refusing to take part in the new show.

Mohammed Afzal Khan, secretary of nearby Abu Bakr Mosque on Argyle Road, agreed to be filmed and told BBC Asian Network: "This is a thriving community, there are Asians here and Polish.

"So far they have asked me questions about Islam and Muslims in general and about this mosque, which have been positive and I am pleased to be taking part."

Image caption Resident Nazrul Chaudhery (left) and Kieran Smith, from the production firm, addressed the meeting last week

When the street was visited by BBC Asian Network reporter Ushma Mistry, signs were up in people's windows saying: "Go away Love Productions, we don't want you filming here."

Residents of Derby Road began a campaign against Love Productions and a heated meeting last week was held with producers.

At the meeting Kieran Smith, creative director of Love Productions, said: "We would never come and film a series in order to cause division, or where there is harmony, cause disharmony."

Councillor Satvir Kaur, who grew up in the area, said: "Just like me, the majority of people who live in Derby Road are not first generation immigrants. They will be second or third generation.

"This begs the question, at what point do me and my neighbours stop being classed or considered as immigrants and start being considered British?"

Listen to the full report on the BBC Asian Network here.

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