BBC One’s Waterloo Road is set to relocate from Rochdale to Scotland for its eighth series.

The move is part of the BBC’s initiative to develop network programming in Scotland and other regions around the UK.

Waterloo Road is viewed by, on average, more than five million and won Best Drama at the National TV Awards in 2011.

The series is to be moved to an unidentified location in Scotland in April 2012, where 50 one-hour episodes will be filmed over the next two years.

There will be a dramatic explosion at the end of the seventh series, to be screened on BBC1 in 2012, leading a number of students and teachers to move to a school in Scotland.

Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, says: “Alongside River City, the arrival of Waterloo Road establishes Scotland as a home of mass drama production and I am excited about the many new Scottish developments coming down the track.

“[Production company] Shed has a great relationship with BBC Scotland who have executive produced the show since its inception. The inspiration for Waterloo Road came from its creator, Ann McManus, who spent several years teaching in Glasgow secondary schools.”