'You might be inspired': Bank of Dave founder discusses upcoming film

ITV News Arts Editor Nina Nannar visited the set of Dave Fishwick's movie to see first-hand how Netflix has created a new feel-good British movie

It is a few days before the release of a film all about him, and Dave Fishwick is in a pensive mood.

The cost-of-living crisis has had a huge impact on Burnley Savings and Loans, the company he set up to lend to local people and businesses in his Lancashire hometown - particularly in terms of the kind of loans people now seek.

A young girl came to him, he says, for a loan just to buy baby milk.

"I've never had that before," he said. "That someone is so short of money that they can't afford to feed their baby."

On another occasion a teacher came in for a loan to buy an industrial toaster to feed starving schoolkids before class, he said.

So, his company, better known as the Bank of Dave, bought the machines and a year’s supply of food, with a pledge to continue in the future.

It was another earlier crisis that spurred Dave into action: the financial crisis of 2007 when banks and financial institutions lost billions.

With businesses in his hometown of Burnley struggling to get any help from the big banks, he fought to set up a community bank to help them survive, with the profits going to charity.

Burnley Savings and Loans opened in 2011 and 11 years later Dave says they have loaned around £30 million to thousands of people and businesses.

It is a David and Goliath story that became a book and a Channel 4 documentary.

Now, it’s a Netflix film with Rory Kinnear taking on the role of Fishwick himself.

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Filmed last year in Burnley and Leeds, we joined Dave and the cast on set in the pub, where we meet his friends supporting his campaign to open a new bank.

For Dave, who started out as a builder and sold vans and minibuses, before eventually becoming a multi millionaire, it is hard to believe that he is in one room of the pub being Dave, and Rory is in the adjoining one playing him!

It all started, he says, when he got a call from Hollywood's Piers Ashworth - one of the writers of the hit film Fisherman’s Friends, saying there was demand for another feel-good film and his story could be it.

Dave of course was up for it, even allowing the filmmakers to use his actual house for scenes.

Rory was taken with this story of local people working for the greater good of their communities.

"There might be something big businesses could learn from this," he said.

He did meet the actual Dave, but on set as we observed. He tried to keep some distance so that he could better play his version of him.

Dave was loving the whole experience anyway!

And for Phoebe Dynevor, who shot to fame in the hit series Bridgerton, co-starring in Bank of Dave allowed her to celebrate her Northern roots, and stay at her parents during filming - her mother is Sally Dynevor of Coronation Street fame!

The film is joyful and if you are a Def Leppard fan it has the added attraction of the band featuring on stage.

Dave, exuberant and down to earth, certainly enjoys a stage, but he’s hoping for more from the film than another stint in the spotlight.

"I’m not saying people should open a Bank of Tracey or Emma or whatever," he said.

"Just that you might be inspired to get together with others in your community to find schemes to help each other."

In these incredibly difficult times there is undoubtedly some of that going on already, but Dave would like to think he’s shown how far determination can get you.

Bank of Dave is available to stream on Netflix from Monday 16th January 2023.