Development builds the buzz around Yorkshire as production base following C4’s decision last week to locate its new National HQ in the region
Tuesday 13th November Following the news that Channel 4 is to locate its new national headquarters in Leeds, the screen industries in Yorkshire were today given an additional boost when Screen Yorkshire announced the opening of its new Film Office. The move, which aims to open up further opportunities to UK and international producers, is a cornerstone of Screen Yorkshire’s ambition to make Yorkshire & Humber a world-class hub for film and television.
The Leeds-based organisation already supports the industry through its commercial investment fund, the Yorkshire Content Fund (YCF), which is open to companies based in Yorkshire or bringing projects to film in the region and has to date supported over 40 titles. Today’s move will see Screen Yorkshire ramp up its existing activity and expand the support and resource it offers the screen industries, providing a one-stop-shop for all filming enquiries in the region. In addition to its investment fund, the new, dedicated Film Office team with over 40 years location management and scouting experience, will provide improved production liaison and support on everything from location and facilities through to crew and details of production trainees and education links. The service will also offer would-be producers coming to the area comprehensive advice on being based in Yorkshire, and the wider media landscape.
In the longer term, the new Film Office – working in conjunction with public and private partners – is also exploring the development of an entirely new large-scale studio complex, with the potential to offer a major hub for domestic and international film and TV activity. The organisation has already developed the Church Fenton Yorkshire Studios, home of Mammoth Screen’s ITV-hit, Victoria.
Sally Joynson, CEO of Screen Yorkshire said: “Our ambition to make Yorkshire a world-class venue for the screen industries has taken a step forward today with the opening of our Film Office. Our dedicated team and resource will provide a single point of contact for producers wanting to film in the region – and provide them with a bespoke service to give them the advice and support they need to deliver their project. Together with the news that Channel 4 is moving its national headquarters to the region, the opening of Screen Yorkshire’s Film Office today sends a clear message to screen industry creatives far and wide that Yorkshire is open for business and ready to welcome them.”
The wider Yorkshire & Humber film and TV sector has been invigorated in recent years, with Screen Yorkshire’s investment activities helping to deliver unprecedented growth in employment and turnover; more than double the rate of any other region in the UK. Today’s Film Office announcement is one of a number of exciting new initiatives to have launched in Yorkshire in recent weeks.
At the beginning of October, Screen Skills (formerly Creative Skillset) announced that it was working with Screen Yorkshire and the National Film and Television school to establish Yorkshire as the pilot region for its proposed Centre of Excellence for Film & Television. The initiative aims to create a series of national and regional hubs for a UK-wide programme of mentoring and the delivery of local bursaries to best support emerging and established talent across the UK in the screen industries. Using the learnings from the Yorkshire pilot, Screen Skills plans to build around five such centres around the UK in order to build a greater skilled workforce outside London and the South East.